Spatchcock 'Gondhoraj' Chicken
I love chicken roasts for many reasons but my favourite reason is the crisp chicken skin and the soft meat. Of course it is given that I am talking about the legs here. The biggest problem with chicken is cooking its breasts. After numerous and I really mean numerous errors and trials I finally know how to poach a chicken breast keeping it juicy moist and delicious. When it comes to grilling I still haven't mastered the technique where the breast meat stays ultra juicy other than when flattened completely which I believe leads to soft juicy chicken alright but alters the texture a bit.
When it comes to whole roasts or grills you don't have the option but to use the entire chicken. Problem is the breasts again.
Well while each family member demands the legs or wings someone has to eat the breasts. The easiest way to ensure that the breasts stay somewhat juicy is to of course truss the chicken and as is always extremely important and I cannot stress on it enough , resting the chicken breast side up is again very very very useful.
The only roasted chicken where the breasts stayed ultra juicy was when I used Jamie Oliver's Milk roast chicken : Milk Roasted chicken where the chicken is roasted submerged in milk and before that it is seared in hot oil and butter but then I am always looking for a variety of techniques.
Spatchcock chicken is one such technique which had caught my fancy.
Here is a video which had helped me spatchcock my chicken : How to Spatchcock Chicken
Now I seldom use flavours on my own without using a recipe as a base for my dishes but this time I tried it with a few local ingredients and boy was this one of the best flavours for grilled chicken that I have had. I used a particular type of lime we get here in Bengal called 'Gondhoraj Lebu' which is mostly used for its aroma and it added a delightful flavour indeed.
Basically spatchocking it makes it easy to grill and gives it a lovely crispy exterior. I used the oven for grilling. It had a beautiful flavour and a delightful crispy exterior.
So here goes the recipe :
Serves 3 to 4
1 whole chicken with skin 1.3 kilogram to 1.5 kilogram
Zest from 1 lime (use the local one available) I used 'gondhoraj lebu'
2 heaped tsp hot sauce (This is one I make at home with equal amounts of garlic and dried red chili and enough apple cider vinegar or any other vinegar to make a smooth paste)
2 tbsp Olive Oil (Again I took full advantage of the oppressive summers of India and sun dried kilos of tomato and stored them in extra virgin olive oil and used 2 tbsp of that oil for extra flavour)
Salt as per taste (I needed around 1 tbsp)
Clean, wash dry and then Spatchcock the chicken . Rub the chicken with salt making sure you massage it under the wings and everywhere and then massage it with the oil. Add the zest from the lime and then the chili garlic paste . At this point if your skin is very sensitive or the thought of your hands burning for a while puts you off use disposable gloves.
Let the chicken marinate for a good 4 hours or more and then put it on a rack and preheat oven using grill mode and then grill the chicken for 40 minutes or so till the skin is browned well.
I would suggest using a grilling tray or an iron skillet.
Remember to turn it after 10 minutes and turn it back after 20 minutes of grilling. Keep basting with the marinate every 7 minutes or so.
Its every bit juicy and succulent but remember to definitely let it rest for a good 20 minutes after its cooked.
I used a grilling tray for grilling which had some dripping left over and I used a bit of warm water to collect the delightful juices and it made an amazing jus to go with my roast.
In case you are reheating the chicken put it in the microwave for a mere 2 minutes and you must let it rest for a good 16 minutes or more else the chicken breast will be dry chewy and disgusting