Spatchcock Chicken with Rice

Amazingly tasty. Quick-cooking. Easy to do.

When you cut out the backbone from a whole chicken you can then lay it flat on your roasting pan. It’s called “spatchcock” and/or butterflied. What’s the benefits? Chicken cooks perfectly evenly. Dark meat cooks at same rate as light meat. All the skin crisps. AND it cooks faster than when it’s left whole.

How to do? Place the whole chicken on a work surface breast side down. Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut along one side of the backbone. Then cut along the other side of the backbone until you can remove it. (Save it to make stock later — you can freeze it.) Flip over the chicken and splay out the legs and thighs. It will naturally lay flat. You can also break the breastbone so the breast lays flat, but not necessary. I usually don’t.

The rice addition takes advantage of the juices from the chicken. This adds so much flavor to the rice (especially mixed with the roasted onion slices).

Here’s how I roast it (with rice!):

1. Line a sheet pan/roasting pan with foil (for quicker cleanup).

2. Coat with a few tablespoons of olive oil.

3. Lay out the spatchcock chicken. (Place lemon slices and/or herbs under the chicken.)

4. Sprinkle a cup of rice (uncooked) around the pan. Sprinkle 1 or 2 sliced onions around the rice.

5. Season all with salt & pepper. Drizzle all with olive oil.

6. Add 1 cup to 1 and a half cups of water on & around the rice.

7. Roast in 375 degree F. oven for 30 minutes. Check if rice has absorbed water. Add another cup of water, still through the rice a little. Cook another 15-30 minutes until instant read thermometer reads 165 in chicken, and rice is tender.

8. Cut up chicken in pieces. Lately, I’ve been cutting the breast meat into slices like you do with turkey. You get so much more meat to serve that way! Enjoy!

Easy Super-Succulent Roast Chicken

roast chicken

                                                                                            roast chicken

Eating roast chicken is one of those comfort yums I sometimes dream about. Awake dreaming. While driving in a car, for instance. I’m hungry. Wish I had a chicken leg. Or wing. Or thigh. I never get interested in the breast (except for chicken salad). Duane likes the chicken breast (ONLY) so it works out.

I was a wing girl for most of my life. I realized the best part about wings is the equal parts meat to skin. So you get some of each in every bite. And that, of course, means FLAVOR. Then I jumped to the dark side. Thighs now being the supreme pinnacle of tastiness for chicken. And the drumstick (would love to research when we started using that term). The drumstick is best for grabbing cold leftover chicken from the fridge and chowing down immediately with hands.

Years ago I discovered the wonders of plopping a whole chicken in a cast iron pan and roasting it. First  season it with salt, pepper, a little olive oil, some aleppo, maybe a lemon juice squeeze, and then surrounding it with sliced-up onion. Perfect. (My mom adds a cup of rice around the chicken with some broth…cooked chicken-y rice is done when the roasted chicken is done…YES).

This time tho, I wanted to cut up the chicken into parts. And why not add some carrots?

First I cut up 2 onions into thin wedges.

sliced onions

                                                                           sliced onions

then a couple of carrots into thin slices…

sliced carrots

                                                                            sliced carrots

…lay them out in the cast iron pan, drizzle olive oil, season with salt. Top with the chicken pieces and season chicken with salt & pepper…

chicken in pan on top of carrots and onions

                                                 chicken in pan on top of carrots and onions

…and because herbs are growing like a jungle in the garden, a few sprigs of thyme and oregano…

herbs with the chicken

                                                                         herbs with the chicken

Roast for about an hour in a 375-degree oven.

You will have a dinner that truly comforts you. Juicy. Flavorful. Tender. The carrots and onions are slippery-succulent. And the juices (with vegetables) must be spooned onto each serving. Here’s a couple of wings.

Fly, fly away…

a couple of wings

                                                                                   a couple of wings


Sicilian-Style Roasted Chicken

Roasted Chicken Sicilian Style

Roasted Chicken Sicilian Style

We also called this chicken “Italian-style” when I was growing up (even tho everything was Italian-style…except for the occasional hot dogs and even Italians like hot dogs). To me it was “chicken with salad dressing.” Don’t get me wrong, I love this recipe, but the ingredients are salad dressing and that’s how I always remembered the recipe: olive oil, vinegar, oregano, garlic. And there you have it. That’s the recipe. But check out more details below.

My mom recently informed me that it’s not “Italian-style” chicken, but Sicilian-Style since she learned it from her mother-in-law and guess where her mother-in-law (my grandmother) was from? Yes, that’s right. Sicily. (Note: I added the lemon & parsley touch. Wherever I can get flavor and color I take it.)

This chicken is so tasty you’ll likely eat every piece in one sitting. But don’t. Probably not good for your waistline (or mine).

Sicilian-Style Chicken

1 chicken, cut up into 8-10 pieces

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar or balsamic

2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and quartered

1-2 tablespoons dried oregano

Salt & pepper to taste

1 lemon, sliced into thin wedges

2-3 sprigs fresh Italian parsley, leaves minced, stems discarded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Season chicken pieces with salt & pepper. Place in a roasted pan. Drizzle olive oil, drizzle vinegar, sprinkle with garlic and oregano. Roast for 45minutes-1 hour until an instant read thermometer reads 165 in the thickest part of the thigh. Then turn on broiler and broil for about 2-3 minutes to golden.

Remove pieces to serving platter. Drizzle some of the juices. Sprinkle with parsley and lemon wedges. Serve.

I also demo’ed this recipe on WSMV-TV Channel 4 Nashville. Here’s the video segment:

Sicilian Chicken segment on WSMV-TV Channel 4 Nashville

Buon Appetito!