We at The Hen are using THIS LOCAL FARM'S organic chicken from here on out for all recipes, dishes, meals and broths that call for chicken. But before we committed, we needed to make sure it was the best. In exchange for babysitting their puppy—who was one of the pups from our litter of ten cattle dog puppies!—we got chicken. Lots of chicken. So we're eating chicken.... all week long.
The real test for us was a simple roasted butterflied chicken, aka spatchcock chicken. Result: Damn goooood chicken! Everything we'd want in a whole roast bird: super tender breast, moist meat everywhere, double-crispy skin, and bonus... A big bird with a "little bird" tenderness. We're in.
HERE'S WHAT WE MADE:
Butterflied chicken (spatchcock chicken) is roasted to crisp tender perfection with caramelized garlic-and-butter mash. Lemony scents and a bit of honey brighten & sweeten the bird in this simple but oh-so-flavorful method of roasting chicken.
1 Little Cow Mountain Farm whole chicken (we brined ours in a salt bath for 12 hours)
1/2 cup roasted garlic (got ours pre-roasted at Whole Foods olive bar)
1-2 tablespoons honey
1-2 tablespoons butter, room temp
Olive oil for rubbing
1 Meyer lemon, zested and sliced
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a roasting rack or cookie rack into a roasting pan or sheet pan.
Mash the garlic, honey, butter, and salt together in a small dish. There will be small clumps of butter and that's okay.
Put the bird breast-side down on a cutting board. With your kitchen snippers or a sharp knife, cut through the rib bones up along the spine on each side of the spine, removing the backbone completely. Turn the bird over and press down hard with both hands on the breast until you hear a "crack" and the breast falls flatter. The flatter it is the more even the bird will cook.
At the bottom of the bird, lift up the breast skin with your fingers, and holding a small, sharp knife at a horizontal angle, very carefully slice away the membrane that holds the skin to the breast. Keep pulling the skin away and slicing more membrane deeper and deeper toward the top of the bird—as far as you can go without slicing through the skin or the meat.
Scoop a little of the garlic mash with your first two fingers, and push the mash down in between the skin and the breast meat on both sides. Push and mash it with your fingers so it's evenly distributed.
Rub the bird with a little olive oil and sprinkle the top with a generous fingerful of salt. ZEST THE LEMON and reserve the zest. Pile the lemon slices under the chicken so that the essence wafts up into the bird as it cooks.
Place in the oven and roast for about 75 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender-cooked on the inside, checking the chicken at intervals to add oil and turn the chicken. A thermometer should read 165 at the crease of the thigh when done.
Let sit 5-8 minutes before slicing and serving.
Better yet... let us make it for you.