Crispy Roast Chicken

Hello Fellow Foodies!
Today I am preparing a crispy roast chicken for the family. This is by far my most favorite way to cook chicken. Please do not email me to tell me how fattening and evil the chicken skin is, I don't care!

The technique for flattening the chicken is called "spatchcocking". Which is an old English (and rather fancy) way of saying deboned and flat.  defines and explains the term thusly:

Pronunciation: /ˈspatʃkɒk/

Definition of spatchcock
noun :a chicken or game bird split open and grilled.
verb:split open (a poultry or game bird) ready for grilling: these small spring chickens can be bought already spatchcocked. /Informal, chiefly British add (a phrase, sentence, clause, etc.) in a context where it is inappropriate: a new clause has been spatchcocked into the Bill
Origin: late 18th century (originally an Irish usage): perhaps related to the noun dispatch + cock1, but compare with spitchcock
So that is what I am doing today. I am also "koshering" my chicken, which means that I am liberally treating it with a coating of Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, and allowing the chicken to rest and absorb the seasonings for about 8 hours under refrigeration. 

DON'T LIMIT YOURSELF TO chicken ALONE. You can use turkey, duck, goose, pheasant, quail....any kind of foul at all!!! You can also substitute out the kosher salt and pepper for a commercially made lemon pepper. You can add herbs (fresh chopped or dried), or any spices you like for extra flavors. I like cardamom and turmeric for an Indian taste, oregano and basil for an Italian hint, or cumin, coriander, cayenne, and smoked paprika for a south of the boarder kick. You are only limited by your imagination, as most foul will take any flavor enhancements you throw their way!!! If you have a smoker, by all means smoke your bird according to the manufacturer's directions. GO CRAZY!!!!!!!!

Be sure to leave your bird UNCOVERED as it rests, so that moisture can wick out of the skin and dry up. Why? because this will give you a very crispy/crunchy skin that every person at your dinner table will sing the praises of and (if you have a family like mine) fight over!
Here is what you need:
1 roasting chicken (size does not really matter, but I use a 4-6 pounder)
2 Tbs. (or so) of Kosher salt (if using turkey increase to 1/2 cup)
1 tsp. freshly cracked/coarsely ground black pepper (if using turkey increase to 2 tsp.)
1 sheet pan (or cookie sheet)
foil to cover sheet pan
parchment paper fit to the pan for lining
and pan spry (or butter/shortening/bacon fat) to LIBERALLY coat the parchment with.
As this one is easier to show you than to type down, I made several short videos that you can watch on your laptop, or tablet in the kitchen while you prep your bird.
 Flattening the Chicken

Removing the Bones

The Perfect Chicken Skin EVERY TIME!

Placing the Chicken Properly "To Rest"
Here are the written direction too, so you have them!
Using a sharp pair of scissors that are dedicated to this task only, cut out the back bone of the chicken. Discard the spine or use it later for stock. Lay your bird skin side down on a clean cutting board, and remove the ribcage, and any other small bones inside the cavity of the chicken-leaving the thigh, leg, and wing bones intact.
Turn the chicken over and gently lift the skin from the meat (very gently) as to not tear the skin.


Mix your salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Spread about 3/4 of the salt mix under the skin of the bird, and massage into the meat. Sprinkle the remaining salt mixture over the skin.
Line a sheet pan with foil. Place a sheet of parchment paper over the foil, and liberally grease the paper. This will prevent the chicken drippings from sticking, thereby allowing you to remove them easily for making gravy-if you are feeling ambitious. Place your bird onto the greased, papered, and foil lined sheet pan. Stick the chicken (now ensconced upon the pan) uncovered into an empty shelf of the fridge.
Allow to rest for 6-8 (but up to 24) hours. Preheat your oven to 400F. Roast the bird for 45-60 minutes until the skin is a rich red mahogany color. Don't worry, by this time the meat will be WELL OVER THE DANGER ZONE TEMPERATURE. Serve with your favorite side dishes, and watch it disappear!!!

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