I know, I know, no one needs another roasted chicken recipe. Except, well, do you have a roasted chicken recipe? Because basically everyone needs at least one. I haven’t been that into chicken lately — the breasts are dry and the legs get stringy pretty quickly in soup and don’t even get me started on the boring-ness of grilled chicken at a certain salad chain that rhymes with Shop’t. For my chicken, I usually stick to variations on braised legs and these little bundles of chicken bacon jalapeno deliciousness.
But a few weeks ago, the Boyfriend and I skived off work for a whole week for his family vacation. There was a beach, there were books, there was a particularly cute kid who was very confused when I told her I don’t have a car, “How do you not have a car? Do you work at home?” Which was just so smart and so adorable I wanted to smoosh her little face in (in a non-violent but also very real way).
Anyway, there was also chicken. And we are talking chicken for a crowd. And it was fantastic! It singlehandedly moved me from the anti-chicken to the pro-chicken camp, boring salads be damned.
Sadly, this is not that recipe. That recipe involved marinade and several hours and a gas grill. This recipe is more leighto-greato speed. Which is to say, the kind of thing you can buy on the way home from the office and have on the table an hour later. The kind of thing that tastes like it was more work than it actually was. The kind of thing that lets you multi-task with some serious gossip over a glass of rose while the oven works its magic because why the heck not? And it’s fantastic — the chicken soaks up the salty lemon flavor of the preserved lemons, and the whole bird stays really tender and juicy since it’s cooked basically whole. Also, “spatchcock” is fun to say.
- 1 3-4 lb. chicken
- Preserved lemon
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Preheat your broiler.
- Spatchcock your chicken by cutting down the backbone -- NYTimes instructional video: here.
- Gently loosen the chicken skin with your hands, and line the inside of the chicken skin with a layer of preserved lemon slices. Drizzle the outside of the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with freshly-cracked pepper.
- Broil skin-side down for 22 minutes. Flip the chicken over and roast until the skin gets browned and crispy. Allow the chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes and then cut the meat off the bones and serve.