A FOODGASM. That’s what The Hubs dubbed this dinner as we sucked the bones clean. “And in the blog, you can say that I said so.” So I took him up on his offer.
If roast chicken and potatoes are in your wheel house, then you must put this on your short list. The succulent poultry, mouth-watering potatoes, and variety of alliums, paired with herbs and seasonings all melded together into one harmonious orgy on the palette.
According to Spanish chef/author Mikel López Iturriaga, getting all the parts of a roasted chicken done just right is one of the greatest challenges of roasting poultry: when the thigh is cooked to temperature the breast is usually already dry, and if you remove the chicken from the oven earlier in order to keep the breast juicy, the thigh is still raw.
As Mikel claims, there are many tricks to overcome this dilemma, but the most effective has the name of a Lepidoptera, it’s called “butterflied chicken,” also known as spatchcock chicken. It’s about cutting the bird in such a way to leave it flattened. Not only does it have the advantage of bringing together cooking times for all of the parts, but it makes the cooking process much faster. In a half-hour, you can have it ready.
Now, as is our MO, we made a few changes. We added shallots in addition to the onions, increased the potato quotient, and didn’t remove garlic or potato skins. Count yourself lucky if you have leftovers. The most difficult part was waiting the extra 10 minutes for the bird to rest before carving and serving…
Spatchcock Chicken with Potatoes and Lemon
- 1 whole chicken, (3 1/2 to 4 lbs.), spatchcocked
- 7 oz. dry white wine, or dry vermouth
- 2 medium onions, or combination of onions and shallots
- 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
- 2 lemons, one cut in half horizontally and the other juiced
- 1 head garlic, outer skin removed to reveal the cloves and cut in half horizontally
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, each broken into 2 pieces
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme, each broken into 2 pieces
- 2 bay leaves, broken into halves
- 1 Tbsp. pimentón dulce, (sweet smoked paprika)
- 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Salt, to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Heat the oven to 475 degrees.
- Cut the potatoes in half, and then cut each half into three wedges. Do the same with the onions. If using shallots, cut them in half from top to bottom. Place the vegetables in a baking or roasting pan with sides high enough to allow the chicken to be placed on a rack over top of the vegetables. Add the lemon and garlic halves, drizzle everything with olive oil, mix well, and place in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- In a bowl, mix together 6 tablespoons of olive oil, the rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, pimentón, oregano, pepper, and a generous amount of salt. Cover the chicken well with a portion of this mixture reserving the remainder to pour over the vegetables.
- After the vegetables have been roasted for 15 minutes, remove them from the oven and pour the remaining marinade, lemon juice, and wine or vermouth over them. Place a rack over the top of the roasting pan and place the chicken on it, skin side up. Return the roasting pan to the oven.
- After 15 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue roasting for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the chicken skin is golden and juices run clear. After removing the roasting pan from the oven, allow everything to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe from Mikel López Iturriaga for El Pais