Cook date: July 30, 2020
I’ve made this dish many times and blogged about it most of those times; but, for one reason or another I haven’t been able to get good pictures. I was focused on getting my pictures for this cook.
Chicken, rosemary and lemon go together like tuxedos and ball gowns. We have a fall/winter favorite of chicken rosemary stew which includes lemon. Funny I never noticed that until just this past week. We couldn’t get fresh thyme from the grocery store so we settled for using dried but cutting the amount by a third.
Measure, chop, squeeze, zest, and pour…
One quarter cup olive oil, 2 Tablespoons lemon juice and the zest of the lemon, a pinch of red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons of fresh rosemary leaves – chopped, a teaspoon of dried thyme and a bunch of garlic pushed through a garlic press- I think I used at least 7 cloves.
We use these ingredients in two ways. First we make a beautiful garlic olive oil for a serving sauce with everything but the lemon juice.
Simmer gently for 10 minutes then let cool
Second, we add separate the solids from the oil. …
Then mix those solids with kosher salt and put under and on the underside of a spatchcocked chicken. Normally, I refrain from including pictures of raw chicken brecause, ew. But you can see how we spread the salted herbs under the skin and over the breast and thigh meat.
The chicken goes into the refrigerator for a couple of hours for a dry brine. Then we fire up the grill for indirect cooking at 425°. The chicken goes on the cooler, indirect side skin down with the legs pointed to the direct side so the thighs and legs can cook faster – they are a bit more resilient to high temps. Ideally, you are supposed to wrap 2 brick in aluminum foil to weight down the bird; unfortunately, during last summer’s clean up prior to the kids moving back to town and using our garage for storage for a couple of months, the bricks I use disappeared. Oh well, I have cast iron press I can wrap in foil. It isn’t as heavy as 2 bricks but will do in a pinch.
After 25 minutes we flip the chicken skin side up and continue to cook.
Let’s get a closer look.
When it’s close to ready we turn it back skin side down – no weight – and put on the direct side to finish browning the chicken.
While the chicken is resting for a few minutes, we whisk the lemon juice and some reserved herbs to finish the sauce.
Carve. The wings never made it to the plate; Carla and I gobbled them up at the counter.
The only difficulty is that the skin is so loosened when applying the rub, it doesn’t stick to the white meat when carving.
I also grilled some corn wrapped in foil and Carla made Couscous. Dinner is served.
Oh, that sauce! So silky, lemony, and garlicky all together. We spooned some over the Couscous as well. I’d put this sauce on almost anything – well not ice cream – probably.
Rating: ★★★★ A solid chicken dish easily good enough for company – when we can have company for dinner again. This was the best version I’ve made in awhile – I don’t know what to attribute it to, but it was great.