My food-friends Marge Perry and David Bonom — a hubby-and-wife team who develop recipes for magazines — just released Hero Dinners: Complete One-Pan Meals That Save the Day. The cookbook offers 100 recipes using a sheet pan or a skillet so you’re not left with a sink full of pots and pans after making dinner.
This Rosemary Spatchcock Chicken recipe uses a large skillet. Don’t be put off by the seeming length of the recipe. It’s really quite simple! This team just tells you everything you might need to know to prepare this with fabulous results.
“We just love saying the word spatchcock,” they wrote. “We know, it almost sounds dirty. Spatchcock may come from the old Irish phrase to ‘dispatch the cock,’ meaning make it more quickly when you split the bird down the middle, open it up and lay it out flat.”
“This is one of our absolute favorite ways to cook chicken. It’s a fast, simple way to skillet-roast a whole chicken,” said Marge. “We do it with baby potatoes, which get a lovely crisp crust and creamy interior, and asparagus — one of my favorite vegetables. Besides, we make it with rosemary, and I think most things taste better with rosemary!”
“Rosemary Spatchcock Chicken is also stunning looking, which is lovely but not the main advantage: the skin gets crisp and brown, the meat is tender and juicy – and dinner is ready far more quickly than if you kept the chicken whole.”
“Do not be put off by the idea of cutting the bird like this – it is as easy as using kitchen shears or a knife to cut along each side of the backbone to remove it. Then you simply open the bird up like it is a book. It is that easy! (We freeze the backbones in a zip-top plastic bag to use in chicken soup.)”
Rosemary Spatchcock Chicken with Baby Potatoes + Asparagus
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
One 4-pound whole chicken
1¼ teaspoons salt, divided
½ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup unsalted chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus 5 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 pound baby potatoes, quartered
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Rub 1 tablespoon of the oil over the entire inside surface (including the sides) of a large ovenproof skillet.
To spatchcock the chicken, you need to first remove the backbone. Place the chicken, breast side down, on your work surface. Use kitchen shears or a knife to cut lengthwise along either side of the backbone to remove it. (Discard the bone or freeze it for stock.) Open the chicken up like a book. While it is lying skin side facing down on your work surface, score the white cartilage that runs down the center (do not cut through to the meat) so the chicken lies perfectly flat. (Sometimes you need only cut through the little bit of cartilage at the end near the neck for it to lie flat.) Flip the bird over and season the skin with a ½ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. When it is very hot, place the bird, skin side down, in the skillet. Season the surface facing up (the inside of the bird) with ½ teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Press the chicken down with a spatula so that as much of the skin touches the pan surface as possible. Cook the chicken without moving it until it no longer sticks to the pan surface and is a lovely golden color on the underside, 8 to 10 minutes. Use two large spatulas to gently lift the bird out of the pan and transfer it to a plate.
Add the lemon juice, chicken broth, and chopped rosemary to the skillet and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced by half and is somewhat milky looking, 1 to 2 minutes; remove from the heat.
Combine the potatoes with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a bowl. Toss with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and add half of them to the skillet. Return the chicken to the skillet, with the skin side facing up, and add the remaining potatoes and the rosemary sprigs on and around the chicken. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20 minutes.
Add the asparagus to the pan and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 170°F and the vegetables are cooked through, about 15 minutes longer.
Makes 4 servings.