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roasted chicken with Herbs de Provence, potatoes and fennel

A recipe that is a one dish meal if you want or works well with other courses.

Roast chicken always perplexes me because I find the cooking temperature of a juicy, well done interior compared to the crispy, golden skin on the exterior a bit difficult to master.  Making lots of mistakes has kept me away from roasting whole chickens and often just roasting pieces, such as the thighs and breasts.

But a well cooked chicken is a delight, and therefore I was so happy to learn the “trick” of spatchcocking to assure a more even cooking temperature throughout the meat.  It is one more step but takes out the guess work of overcooking the breast meat and undercooking other parts.

 

roasted chicken with Herbs de Provence, potatoes and fennel

A recipe that is a one dish meal if you want or works well with other courses.

Roast chicken always perplexes me because I find the cooking temperature of a juicy, well done interior compared to the crispy, golden skin on the exterior a bit difficult to master.  Making lots of mistakes has kept me away from roasting whole chickens and often just roasting pieces, such as the thighs and breasts.

But a well cooked chicken is a delight, and therefore I was so happy to learn the “trick” of spatchcocking to assure a more even cooking temperature throughout the meat.  It is one more step but takes out the guess work of overcooking the breast meat and undercooking other parts.

 

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Ingredients

Recipe serves: 6
5 pound (about 2.2 kg) whole chicken
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons herbs de Provence
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 thickly sliced large fennel bulbs
1 thickly sliced yellow onion
1 pound (500g) thickly sliced baby potatoes
salt, to taste
pepper, freshly ground
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thoughts&stories

Spatchcocking means removing the backbone out of the chicken in order for it to lie flat to the surface.  It is also called butterflying.

All you need is a good pair of scissors, or a very sharp knife.  Better yet, spatchcocking cuts the cooking time in half and allows the meat to cook at more even temperatures.

 

Wines

Pinot noir or any light to medium bodied red- such as red Burgundy, Gamay.

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roasted chicken with Herbs de Provence, potatoes and fennel
  • time
    2 hours 30 min
  • serves
    6
  • skill level
    Medium

Ingredients

Directions

1
Done

Preheat oven to 400F(200C).

2
Done

Mix the butter (should be room temperature) and 1 teaspoon of the herbs de Provence, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Set aside.

3
Done

Remove chicken from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. You want an even cooking temperature.

4
Done

With a pair of poultry scissors or a knife, cut both sides of the chicken's backbone and remove completely. Throw out the backbone.

5
Done

Turn chicken over to breast side to lie the chicken flat- you may have to press down on the breast bone. You are just trying to flatten.

6
Done

Flip chicken over, breast sides up, and place on a large baking pan.

7
Done

Using fingers or the end of a wooden spoon, loosen the skin from the breast and thigh meat.

8
Done

Taking the seasoned butter (also called compound butter), gently spread half the butter underneath the skin and rub the other half over the chicken.

9
Done

Gently push the end of chicken wings underneath body to avoid burning.

10
Done

In a large bowl, toss together the oil, fennel, onions, potatoes, remaining 1/2 teaspoon herbs de Provence and more of salt and pepper. Scatter the vegetables around the chicken.

11
Done

Place in oven and roast for 45 to 55 minutes, mixing vegetables half way through the cooking process.

12
Done

Remove when the juices run clean and thermometer registers 165F (75C).

13
Done

Allow chicken to rest covered for 10 minutes before carving. Poultry tends to cool faster than beef so best to keep warm.

14
Done

Arrange vegetables on a large serving plate, carve chicken and place on the vegetables.