I Ain't Chicken Chicken

Friday, September 11, 2015

You'll have to forgive me.  I was so hangry by the time the chicken was done that I just started cutting it into pieces right after it came out of the oven.  Once it was slice in half, it dawned on me.  Shoot, I need to take a picture first!  I think you still get the gist though, yes?  This chicken was super tasty, and isn't that crunchy outside just gorgeous.  I guess only people who are really into food think stuff like that...
As much fun as I had butterflying this chicken (yuck!), I think this will turn into one of my regular roast chicken recipes.  I love recipes where you can cook the whole shebang in one pot.  The citrus flavor paired with the fragrant spices made this a really delicious dinner.

You will need:

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 TSP ground cardamom
1 TBSP orange zest
1 TBSP grated peeled fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Kosher salt and ground pepper
1 whole chicken, 4-5 pounds, giblets removed, rinsed and patted dry
2 pounds yukon gold potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 TBSP sunflower oil, plus more for drizzling

You will start by making a butter mixture.  Soft butter will mix a lot easier, just sayin' :).  Mix butter, cardamom, orange zest, ginger, garlic, 1 TSP salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Set aside while you butterfly the chicken.

I totally hate handling raw meat, so this seemed really daunting at first.  I assure you it isn't that bad.  If you can stick your hang up the inside of a chicken to get the giblets out, then you can probably handle this.

Start with your chicken breast side down with the neck part facing you.  With some sturdy kitchen shears, you are going to cut on either side of the backbone from neck to butt.  You should be able to remove the backbone in one long strip.  now you can flip the chicken over, breast side up, neck still facing you.  In a move reminiscent of first aid training, you will do a 'chest compression' type move.  Using your weight on the heel of your palm, give the chicken a good press until you hear a crack and your chicken is flattened.  You want to rotate the little chicken knees facing each other (like the chicken is knock-kneed).  That wasn't so bad, was it?

Take the butter mixture, and side it under the skin all over the chicken.  You should be able to separate the skin from the meat to make little pockets with your fingers.

At this time, we will focus on potatoes.  Slice them 1/4 in thick.  In a bowl, toss them with 1 TBSP sunflower oil, salt and pepper.  Allow them to sit at room temperature along with the chicken for 30 mins - while you preheat your oven to 500 degrees.  Yes, 500, that isn't a typo.  *

Drain any water that the potatoes have given off, and place them in your skillet in an even layer.  (cast iron is the way to go here)  Now place your chicken on top of the bed of potatoes.  Tuck the wing tips behind the shoulders so they won't burn.

Into the oven it goes.  20 minutes, then rotate and cook for another 20 minutes.  The skin will be nice and crispy and internal temperature should be 160 in the thigh area (that zone takes the longest to cook #stopsalmonella)

Let the chicken rest on a cutting board 10 minutes before cutting up and serving.  At this point, flip your potatoes around.  If you want more crisp taters, pop them under the broiler for 3-5 minutes.  Mine looked pretty good as is, so I skipped that step.

*Aarti suggests giving your oven a quick wipedown.  At temps that hot, anything that may have spilled in there may start smoking and setting off your smoke detectors!

I hope you enjoy this tasty meal!

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