Greek Freak is staple seasoning in my house along with the chicken. We pretty much use it for the majority of our meals. It’s a match made in heaven! This recipe will surely satisfy all members of your family. Just the right amount for a holiday dinner or just a casual weekday dinner with delicious leftovers to enjoy over and over again.
- 1 large chicken, about 4 to 5 pounds (1.8 to 2.3kg)
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2–3 tablespoons Spiceology Greek Freak Mediterranean Rub
- 8 sprigs fresh oregano
- 1–2 lemons sliced (I like extra for plenty of juice to finish with)
- Place oven rack in upper-middle position and preheat oven to 425°F. Using sharp kitchen shears, remove the spine from chicken and cut spine into 5 to 6 one-inch-long pieces. Set the spine aside.
- Flatten chicken by placing skin side up on a cutting board and applying firm pressure to the breastbone. Transfer to a cooking sheet covered with parchment. Position chicken so that breasts are aligned with center of baking sheet and legs are close to edge.
- Drizzle chicken with 1 tablespoon oil. Combine 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 2-3 tablespoons Spiceology Greek Freak in a small bowl. Sprinkle all over chicken. Tuck fresh oregano and lemon slices under the chicken. Rub chicken to distribute seasoning evenly all over skin.
- Roast chicken until thickest part of breast close to bone registers 150°F (66°C) on an instant-read thermometer and joint between thighs and body registers at least 175°F (80°C), about 45 minutes, cover loosely with foil if chicken starts to darken too quickly.
- Remove chicken from oven, transfer to cutting board, tent loosely with foil, and allow to rest 5 minutes before carving. Gather cooked lemon slices and squeeze remaining juice over the chicken. The caramelization of the lemons will make the juices sweet and savory.
How to Butterfly or Spatchcock a Chicken
You can use a chef’s knife to cut out the backbone, but I think sturdy kitchen scissors make it a lot easier.
- Place the chicken breast-side down. Cut along one side of the backbone. Repeat along the other side. Don’t be intimidated the first time you do this you might be a little timid but once you’ve done it every other time will be a breeze.
- Open the chicken and slice through the white cartilage at the tip of the breastbone to pop it open. Or, simply turn the chicken over and press down Breaking the breast bone open. The chicken will lay nice and flat now.
Why is it quicker?
Flattening the chicken exposes more surface area to heat, so overall cooking time is reduced. That means you can slash about 15 minutes off the hour or more it usually takes to cook a whole chicken. Who can’t use and extra 15 minutes?
How is it juicier?
Chicken has two different kinds of meat that are cooked through at two different temperatures when. When cooked whole the breast always gets cooked before the dark meat. By simply opening up the chicken and cooking it flat, evening the cooking surface you allow both kinds of meat to reach doneness at the same time.
Why is it crispier?
All of the skin is exposed evenly to the heat, with none of it hiding on the underside. That means it all crisps up evenly. No more fighting over the crispy bits.
Need more reasons?
This method is also more economical. A whole chicken costs less per pound than cut-up chicken.
You can make your own chicken stock with the backbones, organs and neck. Bonus!
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