My search for the true Perfect Roast Chicken continues, and this time I’m trying out the recipe by Emeril Lagasse. I also surfed article after article trying to solve the dry breast meat problem, and I found an interesting article by Serious Eats which recommends butterflying, or spatchcocking, the chicken. So I decided to use that method to see if it works.
Let me tell you this now. I’m never going to roast chicken the old fashioned way again. Ever. The breast meat was tender and super juicy, and the veggies were nicely browned and bursting with flavor. Give it a try!
Perfect Roast Chicken
- 2 medium russet potatoes (about 700 grams), peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 3 medium celery ribs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Baby Bam
- 1 whole chicken (about 1.6 kilograms), giblets and cavity fat removed, rinsed well and patted dry
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
Place the potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion in a medium bowl and toss with 1/4 cup of the olive oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of the Baby Bam. Spread the vegetables in an even layer along the bottom of a large roasting pan.
Butterfly, or spatchcock, the chicken. Place the chicken, breast side down, on a cutting board. Using the bishop’s nose (chicken butt) as a handle, cut along each side of the backbone using a pair of kitchen scissors. Reserve the backbone for future use, such as in stock. Flip the chicken over, find the cartilage part near the neck and give it a snip. Press down both sides of the breast and the breastbone should pop out. Here’s a video for a clearer idea of what to do.
In a small bowl, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the remaining teaspoon of salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of Baby Bam, and stir to combine. Generously brush the oil and spice mixture all over the chicken, brushing under the skin wherever possible.
Place the chicken, breast side up, on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan. Place the garlic, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf under the cavity area of the chicken.
Roast the chicken for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 190°C and continue to cook until the skin of the chicken is crisp and deep golden brown, and an instant-read thermometer registers 65°C (150°F) when inserted into the thickest part of the breast meat and 77°C (170°F) in the thickest part of the thigh — about 25 more minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven. Loosely tent with aluminium foil and let the chicken rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Carefully transfer the chicken to a cutting board and carve the chicken into serving pieces.
Serve with the vegetables and pan juices.