Easier to prepare than a whole roasted chicken, spatchcocked chicken is also worthy of the “wow” factor that whole roasting gets. With a quick sear in a skillet and then a 30-minute oven roast, cooking with a spatchcock chicken is a straight-forward technique. This Rosemary-Orange Spatchcock Chicken is coated with an orange zest butter, yielding a rich and decadent roasted bird full of citrus and herb notes. This chicken is sure to be requested often.
- Remember to zest the oranges before juicing. If ½ cup (120 ml) of juice cannot be extracted from the oranges, that’s okay. Extract as much as you can.
- To salt the chicken under the skin, the skin will need to be partially detached from the meat. Grab an edge of the skin and lift slightly. This should expose a small area where the skin is still attached to the meat. Using a knife, gently make a couple of small slices through this area. Using your finger, gently separate the meat and skin. Peel the skin back, being careful to not completely remove the skin from the chicken meat. Salt the exposed meat and return the peeled-back skin to its original position.
Yields: 4-6 servings
2 oranges, zest and juice
2 tbsp (28 g) unsalted butter,softened
1¼ tsp (8 g) kosher salt, divided
3½ lb (1.6 kg) spatchcock chicken
7 rosemary sprigs, divided
1 tbsp (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
½ cup (120 ml) low-sodium chicken stock
Heat the oven to 450°F (232°C). After zesting both oranges, juice one orange, yielding about ½ cup (120 ml) of juice, then slice the other orange into wedges. Set the juice and the orange wedges aside. Combine the orange zest and the butter. Stir and set aside.
Using 2 tablespoons (28 g) of the orange zest butter and 1 teaspoon of the salt, evenly coat the outside and under the skin of the chicken. While the chicken skin is peeled back, place 4 rosemary sprigs (1 for each breast, and1 for each leg and thigh) on top of the chicken meat. Pull the skin over the rosemary and set aside.
Place the oil and onion into a large cast-iron skillet. Warm over medium-high heat and cook the onion for 3 minutes, or until it is slightly softened and coated with a layer of pan juices. Push the onion to the perimeter of the skillet and add the chicken, breast side facing down. Cook for 2½ minutes, then flip the chicken. Add The orange slices and the remaining 3 sprigs of rosemary to the skillet. Cook for 2 1⁄2 minutes.
Place the skillet into the oven. Roast for 30 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160°F to 165°F (71°C to 74°C). Remove the skillet from the oven, place the chicken onto a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.
Return the skillet back to the cooktop and warm over medium-high heat. Add the chicken stock, orange juice and ¼ teaspoon of the salt to the skillet and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Slice the chicken and serve with the pan sauce.
Credit: Reprinted with permission from The Ultimate 5-Ingredient Cookbook by Rebecca White. PageStreet Publishing Co. 2021. Photo credit: Rebecca White.