Did you know there’s a way to increase the amount of crisp skin on your chicken while decreasing the cook time? I tell the truth, you just use a five minute technique called Spatchcocking -that sounds dirty, doesn’t it?- or butterflying and you’ll greatly increase the surface area of your roast chicken. Not only is the surface area increased, but the amount of meat in direct contact with the cooking surface -in our case a baking sheet- is also increased. Both of these conditions work together to reduce the overall cook time of your bird and keep any skin out of the pan juices.
This technique cuts the cook time for a 3 .5 – 5lb bird down to around 50 minutes. Now you don’t have to save your chicken for Sunday afternoon. Who knew?
As a courtesy to vegetarian Home Ec 101 readers, I’ll go ahead and hide the rest of this post behind a jump. Just click more, if you want to see the tutorial.
Butterflying a chicken is quite easy. The only kitchen equipment you need aside from a cutting board is a sturdy pair of kitchen shears.
Rinse your chicken and remove the giblets.
Flip the chicken over so it is breast side down and the neck is pointing toward you.
Grab your kitchen shears and cut parallel to the back bone, very close but not through the spine.
Repeat on the other side.
Remove the back and save -in the freezer- for a future batch of chicken stock.
Flip the bird over and press down firmly to ensure it lies flat.
Now season your bird, this week I just gave it a quick rub with the spice mixture from the chili honey chicken thighs. Place skin side up on a greased baking sheet. Let it chill on the counter while the oven preheats. It’s safe for the meat to be out of the fridge as long as you don’t approach the two hour mark. 15 minutes while the oven heats is perfectly fine.
Preheat the oven to 400°F, roast for 20 minutes and then turn it down to 350°F and cook until the thigh reaches 165°F, probably in the neighborhood of 30 minutes.