Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Quick Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Onions

Serves 4
Recipe from Everyday Food
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

Mother was returning from her trip to Mexico.  We were to pick her up from the airport.  The weather in Mexico had been quite hot, but she was coming home to temps in the 30's, so I thought I'd roast a chicken to welcome her home and to warm her belly.  I prepped the chicken in the morning and then popped it in the oven when we returned from the airport.  By the time she had unpacked and changed her clothes, the chicken was coming out of the oven.  The potatoes and onions roast underneath the chicken and so they are flavored by the juices from the chicken.  My, my, was it all good.  I had never "spatchcocked" a chicken before, but I watched a how-to video and found it was really easy to do.  Spatchcocking a whole chicken basically flattens the bird so that it cooks evenly and quickly. You'll need a good pair of kitchen/poultry shears and a strong grip.  I used the chicken back to make a simple stock for later.  

1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 ½ pounds Yukon Gold or new potatoes, cut into ½ -inch-thick rounds or chunks
1 large red or yellow onion, cut crosswise into ½ -inch-thick slices and separated into rings

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with rack in upper third. Place chicken, breast side down, on a work surface. Starting at thigh end, with kitchen shears, cut along one side of backbone, then the other side. (Discard backbone or freeze it for stock.) Open chicken like a book and flip it over. Press firmly on breastbone to flatten. Rub chicken all over with 2 teaspoons oil and season with salt and pepper.
Line bottom of a broiler pan with foil. (This just makes cleaning up a bit easier.)  Add one sheet of parchment on top of the foil. Drizzle parchment with 2 teaspoons oil and arrange potatoes in a single layer, turning to coat. Top with onions and season with salt and pepper. Cover vegetables with slotted top of broiler pan and place chicken, breast side up, on top. Roast until chicken is cooked through (a thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh, avoiding bone, should read 165 degrees), 35 to 40 minutes. Let chicken rest 5 minutes before serving.
Divide potatoes and onions among four plates and serve alongside chicken.
Here, the chicken and potatoes are served Ruby Salad with Crumbled Feta Cheese and Spicy Pepitas.  Yummy!

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