Another cold blustery day here in NH today – it started snowing around 1 o’clock yesterday afternoon and didn’t stop until around 10 pm last night and it still only accumulated around 3-4 inches. Just enough to make the roads a complete mess and people to lose their minds on how to drive in such conditions. I don’t mind winter and I don’t mind the snow and I don’t mind driving in it. I kind of wish everyone else would stay home; but let the games begin. It is SO pretty here today, though it is ridiculously cold out it’s a whopping 9’F needless to say I will be staying in ALL day and a day like this is totally calling for a roasted chicken.
There are a million (I’m fairly certain that is not an exaggeration) ways to prep a roasted chicken. Sunday dinner I usually slice and apple and some onions and throw it in the cavity. It makes an excellent gravy. Weeknights where this isn’t a lot of time to get dinner on the table, I’ve cut up a bunch of veggies and put the bird on top and crank up the heat and roast the entire meal in about an hour and half.
A couple of weeks ago I watched my food idol Ina Garten; the queen (in my opinion) of roasted chicken. She makes it every Friday for her husband. She made a Tuscan Lemon chicken that sounded and looked amazing. I put this on my MUST make soon dishes. That was about 2 weeks ago and I’ve already made it twice since and am planning on making it again today.
I try to always make a recipe the exact way for the first time, then I tend to wing it or adjust to what I have on hand, or what we like. This recipe is super easy to make and for the most part I usually have everything on hand. The first time I marinated it overnight and it was really good, the next time I didn’t have the time so it was more like an hour-ish and it was AMAZING. I roasted it in the same pan, same temperature and same brand/size chicken and it was completely different. My daughter quoted from her new cookbook; The Food Lab; that the lemon juice was probably to blame. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt the author said the acid in the lemon and chicken anything over 3-4 hours will toughen the bird. Whether this is what changed my outcome is irrelevant. I am an an instant gratification kind of person and if I don’t have to marinate overnight, I am ALL in.
Here is my adaptation of Ina’s Tuscan Lemon Chicken
1 5lb chicken, spatchcocked – you can do this, I promise! (see below)
Freshly cracked black pepper
⅓ cup Olive Oil
2 lemons zested
1 lemon squeezed
3 cloves garlic minced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves minced
Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper. Combine the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic and rosemary in a small bowl. Place the chicken in a dish just large enough where it can lay flat. Pour the marinade all over the bird getting it all over both sides.
Let it sit on the counter while you preheat your oven to 425’F. If you want to a couple of hours, put in in the fridge and take it out about 15 minutes before you are ready to put it in the oven.
I cooked mine in my cast iron pan for about an hour. Please make sure to cook the the bird till the internal temperature is around 165’F – it will continue to cook a little while it is resting covered with aluminum foil for 5-10 minutes.
Spatchcock directions – with either kitchen shears or a knife. Remove the back bone of the bird. Cut down one side and then the other and then push down on the bird to flatten it. That’s it – once you do this you can brag to all of your friends. I did to my co-workers, they had never heard the actual word before. If you don’t want bragging rights, your butcher will do this for you. My daughter ran into a rookie once that had no idea what she was talking about.