For someone who loves poultry as much as I do, golden brown, perfectly roasted chicken is the ultimate way to prepare it in my mind. I require my roasted chicken to have crispy golden brown seasoned skin, with very moist, tender meat inside, and though it has taken me a few years to perfect my roasting method, I have found that by spatchcocking or butterflying the bird helps the chicken to cook evenly all over, and actually helps to reduce the cooking time. Although it might sound difficult, it really is quite easy to do, and all you need is a good sharp knife or sharp kitchen shears. The simplest way to butterfly your chicken is to place it breast side down in front of you. Cut along one side of the backbone, then down the other and discard the backbone. Once this has been done, simply turn the bird over breast side up and use your pans to press down, breaking the breastbone to flatten the bird.
Once my bird is butterflied, I rub it in olive oil, squeeze lemons on top and rub in fresh herbs and seasonings. These flavorings may change from time to time depending on my mood, so feel free to have fun and experiment with your favorite poultry seasonings. I marinade my chicken for at least one hour, or up to 6, and then grill or roast it as described below.
The chicken, butterflied and flavored.
The chicken, roasted golden brown.
The chicken cut into pieces and served with lemon wedges.
Deborah Mele 2011
- 1 (4 Pound) Chicken Butterflied (See Instructions Above)
- Zest & Juice From 2 Lemons
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Garlic Clove, Peeled & Minced
- 3 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary, Chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Cracked Black Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Hot Red Pepper Flakes
- Coarse Sea Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
- 1/2 Cup White Wine
- Place the chicken in a heavy roasting dish.
- Rub the chicken with the olive oil and then rub with the pepper, salt, rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and oregano.
- Drizzle the lemon juice over the chicken and place the chicken in the refrigerator for at least one hour or up to 6.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Roast the chicken on the upper rack for 20 minutes, then add the wine and baste the chicken with the juices.
- Cook for another 30 to 35 minutes or so, basting every 10 minutes, until the chicken is golden brown and has an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Remove from the oven and let rest 15 minutes, cut into pieces and serve, spooning the pan juices on top.