Chosen Bites: A better grilled chicken

Chef Laura Frankel gives her own take on how to prepare the "little black dress" of the food world by introducing her unique "Spatchcocking" technique.

By LAURA FRANKEL
June 23, 2011 18:50
3 minute read.
Roasted chicken

Roasted chicken 311. (photo credit: Tirithel/Wikimedia Commons)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

I love grilled chicken. It seems sort of simple and mundane, but when you prepare the humble bird my favorite way, it is explosive with juiciness, flavor and pizzazz.

Whole Roasted Chicken goes with everything. It is the Little Black Dress of the food world!  Juicy, moist and with big flavor. It just doesn’t get any better than that. But, roasting a whole chicken in the summer is somewhat of a letdown for me. The oven heats up the house, the chicken is delicious but lacking in the summer je ne sais quoi. The outdoors beckons in the summer. I want to be outside communing with my garden, my view of the sunset and my grill.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Most people destroy their chicken on the grill. They over cook it, the flames are too high or they try to grill boneless, skinless chicken and wonder why their entire dinner stuck to the grill.

My favorite technique for grilling chicken is called Spatchcocking. The back bone and sternum are cut out of the chicken and then the chicken is flattened by just pressing on it. The result is a moist bird that is easy to marinate, easy to grill because it cooks evenly and makes a great presentation.

 The flattened chicken still has that moist juiciness that usually comes only with a whole roasted chicken and makes having roasted chicken a weeknight possibility. The whole bird cooks in about 30 minutes. Normally a whole roasted chicken takes over an hour  to cook.

While spatchcocking sounds funny and complicated, it is actually very easy, but still funny sounding!  All you need are good sturdy kitchen shears.

Place the chicken breast side down on a sturdy cutting board. I like to put a couple of paper towels under the chicken so it does not slide while I am cutting it.



Cut along either side of the backbone from the neck to the tail. Remove the back bone and spread open the chicken. Cut a small slit in the cartilage along the breast bone. With both hands, crack open the chicken by opening it like a book.

This will reveal the keel bone, (cartilage that runs in the middle of the breast.) Pull up on the keel bone to remove it. The chicken is now ready to grill. This whole procedure is very simple, only involves cutting one bone and should only take a couple of minutes.

Grilled Whole Chicken

For the marinade

3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 shallots, grated on microplane
1 rosemary sprig
Several thyme sprigs
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons pimenton* (smoked paprika)
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
1 whole chicken, about 3 ½ pounds, spatchcocked

1. Place all of the ingredients for the marinade in container that can accommodate the chicken. Place the chicken in the marinade and rub the marinade all over the chicken. Marinate for at least 2 hours.

2. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.

3. Place the chicken, skin-side down on the grill. Cook on the skin side until the skin is golden brown, about 12 minutes. Turn the chicken over and continue grilling until a thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 165, about 15 minutes.

4. Transfer the chicken to a platter and lightly cover with foil to rest for 10 minutes.

5. Cut the chicken into quarters or halves. Serve hot or cold.

Laura Frankel is the executive chef at Spertus Kosher Catering and the author of  -
Jewish Cooking for all Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes.

Related Content

Cooking class
June 11, 2014
Cooking Class: Lump it, love it

By NERIA BARR