One good bird

img_4262I love a good Roast Chicken. Not those soggy rotisserie chickens from the store, but a homemade roast chicken. It’s cheap, simple, and full of flavor and texture, if done properly. My goal is to get a crisp and salty chicken skin, and surrounding a moist, tender bird. I know, I know, chicken skin is not good for me, but let’s be honest, this is why you roast your own chicken.

The French often allow the chicken juices to collect in the bottom of the pan or rotisserie, and cook potatoes in the drippings. I decided I would cook some butternut squash in the drippings. It was divine. A perfect fall, one dish dinner!

Roast Chicken with Butternut Squash

  • img_42641 butternut squash, peeled & diced into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 whole chicken, spatchcocked (*)
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 3 Tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp rosemary, minced
  • 1 lime, sliced into 4 rounds
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 c cabbage, thinly sliced
  • Pomegranate molasses (**)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a roasting pan, and place the squash in the pan and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and Aleppo pepper. Spread evenly over the bottom. Place the spatchcocked chicken on top of the squash, and lift the skin away from the breast and thighs with your index finger. Place a lime under the skin of each breast and thigh. Spread the butter over the top of the chicken skin, then sprinkle with thyme, rosemary, salt and Aleppo pepper. Roast the chicken for 1 hour until the skin is brown, and the meat is at 165 degrees. While the chicken is roasting, slice the cabbage.

img_4266Place the chicken on a cutting board, and drain the juices from the pan into a bowl. Place the pan on the stovetop over high heat, and add the garlic slices. Gently stir the squash & garlic for 2 minutes, being careful not to smash the squash. Place ½ c cabbage on each serving plate, and divide the squash between each plate. Cut the chicken into quarters, and place on top of the cabbage & squash. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses.

Serves 4.

 

(*) Spatchcocking is cutting the chicken to make it lie flat in the pan which will allow it to cook faster. To spatchcock the bird, follow these steps:

  1. Place the bird breast side down. Using kitchen shears, cut along the backbone down the entire length of the bird, just to the right of the bone.
  2. Repeat on the left side of the backbone to remove the backbone entirely. (You can save/freeze this for chicken stock)
  3. Flip the bird over, so the breast is facing up.
  4. With the palm of your hands, press down firmly between the breast until you feel the breast bone break. It will make a small popping sound.

(**) Available in middle eastern stores.

 

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