Down-Home Roasted Chicken

My daughter has been way for a semester abroad and I’m formulating all the home cooked meals I think she might like upon her return. A delicious roast chicken dinner with garlic roasted new potato and corn is a winner that fills your belly and warms your heart. 

In the July/August issue of they introduced me to a roasted chicken preparation called Spatchcock. 1. You use a pair of cooking shears (ones designed and designated for cooking) to cut the chicken down one side of the backbone and through the ribs. 2. Make an identical cut on the opposite side to remove the backbone completely (discard it). 3. Place the bird cut-side down (skin-side up) and flatten it with the heel of your hand; use both hands if you need to apply extra pressure. You can roast in an oven on a sheet or grill. Just be sure to oil your rack after it’s warmed up for 10 minutes by putting oil on a folded paper towel, holding it with tongs, rub it over the rack. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees with a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the meat without touching the bone to be cooked safely.

You can add flavor before cooking with a brine. It seasons it from the inside and plumps up the chicken. This recipe is a delicious way to infuse flavor.

Buttermilk Brine (marinate for 4-12 hours)-

4 cups buttermilk
1/4 sugar
2 shallots, finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1. Combine buttermilk, sugar, shallots, garlic, salt, oregano, thyme, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce and pepper in a bowl. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve.

2. Place chicken in a sealable gallon-size plastic bag. Pour in the brine, seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours.

3. Remove chicken from the brine (discarding remaining liquid). Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Rub oil over chicken and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before grilling.


Moroccan-Citrus Marinade (4 hour marinate time)-

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 ground cardamom

1. Combine oil, orange zest, lemon zest, orange juice, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, cinnamon and cardamom in a bowl.
2. Add chicken to the marinade, tossing to coat well. If using skin-on chicken parts or a whole chicken, rub the marinade under the skin too. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 8 hours. Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off any excess marinade, and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before grilling.

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