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Sunday, January 13, 2013


Splatchcocked?  Yes, splatchcocked.  It's a fancy word for a butterflied chicken and it's a great way to roast one.

I am not a great roaster.  I have trouble telling if things are cooked through.  I know, I know.  We have meat thermometers for that.  Unfortunately for me, a thermometer doesn't always mean it's cooked.  I know this from personal experience.

The beauty of the splatchcocked or butterflied chicken is that it all cooks evenly, in one layer.  It really does make the whole thing a lot easier and is oodles easier to carve.   It's all good.

And, if you're lazy like I am, you can have your butcher do the honors and remove the backbone.  If you're good at that sort of thing, just use a poultry scissor and do it yourself.  After that, just flatten the chicken out, season well, and roast away.  Easy peasy.

The best thing about cooking this is way is that you get to tell people you splatchcocked a chicken.

Recipe:  Flat Roasted Chicken with Tiny Potatoes 
(Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, 2012)


1 3- to- 3½- pound (11/3- to- 1½- kg) chicken
Table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1½ pounds (680 grams) tiny yellow potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoons (30 ml) melted butter or olive oil, for potatoes
1 lemon, to finish
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves, to finish


Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Using a pair of sharp kitchen shears, remove the backbone of the chicken and discard it (or freeze and save it for making stock). Season the cavity generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Lay the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan (I adore my 12- inch cast- iron skillet for this; it works best with 3- pound birds), and gently pat the breast skin dry with a paper towel. Generously season the top of the bird with more salt and freshly ground black pepper. Nestle the potatoes around the chicken, and drizzle them lightly with butter or olive oil. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper.

Roast the chicken for 30 to 45 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165 degrees. Toss the potatoes after about 20 minutes, so that they cook evenly. When the chicken has finished cooking, transfer potatoes to a large serving platter. Remove the legs, thighs, wings, and breasts from the spatchcocked chicken, and arrange them with potatoes. Squeeze juice of entire lemon over dish, then sprinkle with thyme. Serve with simply cooked vegetables. Eat at once.

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