SAGE & LEMON SPATCHCOCK CHICKEN
This is the roast chicken of roast chickens, the one that saves a last minute Thanksgiving dinner for a small crowd. Easily remove the backbone and flatten the chicken to expose the skin of the chicken. Rub a simple sage and lemon butter to let chicken baste itself in the oven. Roast it over your favorite root vegetables, such as butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and red onion. Use this method of preparing your chicken for your turkey... Happy Thanksgiving!
1 whole chicken, 4-5 lbs
1-2 Tbsp Kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter
3 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped (separated)
1 lemon, zest
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb cubed butternut squash
1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
1 red onion, sliced
If you have time the day before, prepare the chicken or Thanksgiving turkey by removing the backbone. Dry bird well with paper towels. Using sharp kitchen sheers, cut along both sides of backbone and remove. Flip chicken over, skin-side-up and press down to break the breast bone and completely flatten. Transfer bird to baking sheet. Season with salt all over skin-side and flesh-side of the bird. Transfer to refrigerator, uncovered, overnight to let dry brine and thoroughly season bird.
The next day, remove to room temperature for 1 hour. Make the sage butter. In a medium bowl, combine butter, 2 tablespoons chopped sage, lemon zest and a pinch of salt.
Preheat oven to 425F. Using your fingers, separate breast and thigh skin from the flesh and rub butter underneath skin of chicken. Use all but about 1-2 tablespoons butter mixture. Using a paper towel, lightly dry skin. In a large skillet or braiser, heat olive oil over medium high and cook chicken skin-side-down until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add remaining butter to the pan and flip chicken to the other side. Cook for 5 more minutes until golden-brown. Remove chicken to baking sheet and set aside. Add vegetables and 1 Tbsp sage to skillet and season with salt and pepper. Place chicken on top and transfer to oven. Cook until chicken is cooked through, about 160F internal temperature, about 30-40 minutes. Transfer chicken to cutting board and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Cut chicken thighs and drumsticks and then the breast meat off the bone. Slice breast meat into 1/2-inch thick pieces. Serve with vegetables. Drizzle a little fresh lemon juice on top. Enjoy!