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Aug 15, 2017 11:21 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Try Spatchcocked Chicken

Aug 15, 2017 12:17 PM

No heavy sauces for me when the weather is hot. “Clean” bold-flavored foods taste the best. Also, I want to cook food in a relatively short time to keep my kitchen cool. My favorite summer go-to is a roast chicken. (It goes with everything and the leftovers easily translate into salad for another meal.) Of course you can pick one up at the store, however “spatchcocking” the chicken before it’s cooked cuts the cooking time by nearly half. How can you go wrong with the combination of lemon and garlic? If you have a large pan, bake two chickens and serve one for dinner tonight and reserve the other for a picnic later this week.

This farmers market vegetable sauté is the perfect side dish to serve with the chicken. Pour a crisp chilled rosé, pinot noir, crisp sauvignon blanc or fine chablis with dinner. Bon appétit!

Spatchcocked Lemon And Garlic Chicken(Serves 4-6)1 medium onion, sliced, for the pan

1, 3- to 4-pound chicken, rinsed and spatchcocked (see instructions below)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and for the lemon slices

1 large lemon, juiced

1 large lemon, sliced

About 12 to 14 cloves confit of garlic (*see recipe)

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

1 1/2 teaspoons roasted cumin

2 teaspoons smoked paprikaTo prepare:Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Line a roasting pan with sliced onions.

Rinse the chicken under cold running water and pat it dry with paper towels.

To “spatchcock” (meaning to split and flatten the chicken), place the chicken breast side down on a cutting board. Using poultry shears or very sharp knife, make a lengthwise cut on both sides of the backbone from neck to tail. Remove the backbone and center breastbone and reserve them for stock. Open the bird like a book and with the bottom of a heavy pot or flat side of a meat cleaver flatten the chicken. Drizzle lemon juice and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper on the inside of the chicken.

Flip the chicken over and without tearing, loosen the skin by running your fingers between the skin and the flesh of the breast and thighs. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the lemon slices and slide them under the skin along with cloves of garlic. Place the chicken, skin side up, in the prepared pan. Drizzle lemon juice and olive oil over the entire chicken. Sprinkle salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika over the whole affair.To roast:Place in center of the oven and roast until the chicken is golden brown and the juices run clear, when pierced with a two pronged fork or when an instant read meat thermometer reads 170 degrees F, about one hour. The cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken.

Transfer the chicken to a platter and let rest at least 15 minutes before carving. Tastes equally as good when served at room temperature. Refrigerate if serving the next day or taking on a picnic.To grill:Place the seasoned chicken, skin side down on the grill and cook until the skin is brown and crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Drizzle extra lemon juice and olive oil on inside of chicken. Turn the chicken over and continue cooking, drizzling with more lemon juice and olive oil, until the juices run clear when pierced with a two-pronged fork, or when an instant read meat thermometer reads 170 degrees F, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Whether roasting or grilling, when the chicken is done, remove and let stand at least 15 minutes. Cut into serving-size pieces and spoon the accumulated juices from the bottom of the pan over the chicken. To store, place cooled chicken in a clean container, cover, and refrigerate. For the best flavor, bring the chicken back to room temperature before serving.

For a picnic, cut chicken into serving-size pieces and pack into zip lock bag.

*Confit of garlic: Peel several heads of garlic, keeping cloves whole, and remove any dark spots. Place in a heavy saucepan and add enough canola oil to completely cover the garlic by 1 inch. Set the pan over low heat and when bubbles appear along the edges of the pan, adjust the heat to keep the temperature at a slow “poach.” Watch carefully and when the garlic is tender but still has no color, set the pan off the heat. Cool to room temperature and transfer to a very clean dry glass jar, cover the jar and refrigerate. Can be stored in refrigerator for up to three months.Farmers Market Vegetable Sauté(Serves 4)About 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil

1 medium to large onion, chopped

2 garlic scapes, trimmed and green part cut into small dice

2 small yellow squash, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 large red potatoes, parboiled, cubed

1 teaspoon roasted cumin

About 1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 medium heirloom tomato, cored, and chopped (with seeds and juices)To prepare:In a large skillet over moderate heat, coat the bottom with oil.

Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent. Add garlic scapes, squash, bell pepper, and sauté until the vegetables begin to brown on the edges, about eight minutes.

Add potato, cumin, parsley, salt, pepper, and tomato, sauté until the vegetables are tender to the point of a fork. If necessary, add a bit more oil to prevent vegetables from sticking to the pan.

Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Transfer to a dish and serve hot or at room temperature.

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