spatchcock roast chicken & potatoes
Inspired by, Smithey Cast IronServes: 4
Prep Time: 24 hours.
Cook Time: 45 mins.
Skill Level: easy
Cooking Method: Cooktop with 12” cast iron skillet
- 1 (3 ½ to 4 pound) whole chicken, remove giblets
- Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
- 1 ½ pounds small Yukon gold or new potatoes, scrubbed
- 6-8 Spring onions of green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Step 1 - Spatchcock the chicken by removing the backbone: Place chicken on a cutting board breast-side down. Cut along one side of the backbone with sharp kitchen shears, starting at the tailbone and ending at the neck, until the chicken opens. Repeat on the other side until the backbone is free. (Discard or save for making stock). Now the interior of the breastbone is exposed. Use the tip of a sharp knife and make a small score down the center (this is optional but will make the next step easier). Press down firmly with your hands until you hear the breastbone pop and the chicken lays flat.
Step 2 - Pat chicken very dry. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt all over and season with freshly ground black pepper. If you plan ahead, place the salted chicken on a rimmed sheet pan and return to the refrigerator, uncovered, for 24 hours. This “dry brine” step will draw out excess moisture and result in extra crispy skin. Before proceeding, pat dry one more time.
Step 3 - Preheat oven to 500˚F. (Note: if your oven runs hot and strong, cook at 475˚F).
Step 4 - Cut potatoes in half and toss with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few turns of black pepper. Heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in the cast iron skillet over medium heat. Arrange potatoes cut-side down in one layer and cook without touching for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn off the heat and lay the prepared chicken on top of the potatoes, breast-side up. Transfer to the oven and roast until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer reads 150˚F, about 30-35 minutes. (The chicken will continue to cook as it rests).
Step 5 - Transfer chicken to a cutting board to rest. Stir the potatoes and add spring onions to the pan. Return the skillet to the oven for 5 minutes, just until the onions start to wilt.
Step 6 - Carve chicken and nestle among the vegetables to serve.
This one takes some planning ahead (24 hours), but well worth it.
A spatchcocked chicken is ideal for weeknight cooking, giving you all the flavor and parts of a whole roast chicken in nearly half the time. Give it a go!
Plan ahead and do this important step: For extra crispy and delicious chicken skin, plan a little bit ahead. Salt the chicken as directed, then transfer to the refrigerator, uncovered, for 24 hours. This “dry brine” step will draw out excess moisture in the skin without drying out the meat. Pat dry one more time and proceed as directed.