This recipe isn’t so much about the ingredients as it is about the technique: butterflying (or spatchcocking) a whole chicken and then placing it in a searing hot cast iron skillet that you have heated to 500F in the oven. It’s a technique that was recently on America’s Test Kitchen and I thought that I would give it a go. The result: a yummy roasted bird in under an hour. I will have to remember to open the windows in the kitchen though, because it was a little smokey (just because my oven is old and there isn’t good airflow; most people likely won’t have this issue). Lovely comfort food on a wet January day.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) whole chicken
Salt and pepper
Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place 12-inch cast-iron skillet on rack, and heat oven to 500F. Meanwhile, combine 1 tablespoon oil, rosemary, and garlic in bowl; set aside.
Spatchcock the chicken. With chicken breast side down, use kitchen shears to cut through bones on either side of backbone; discard backbone. Flip chicken over, tuck wingtips behind back, and press firmly on breastbone to flatten. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, then rub with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper.
When oven reaches 500F, place chicken breast side down in hot skillet. Reduce oven temperature to 450F and roast chicken until well browned, about 30 minutes.
Remove skillet from oven. Being careful of hot skillet handle, gently flip chicken breast side up. Brush chicken with oil mixture, return skillet to oven, and continue to roast chicken until breast registers 160F and thighs register 175F, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to carving board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 15 minutes. Carve chicken and serve.