Past time to spatchcock something, I bought a farm chicken at Fretta’s Italian Food grocer. It was larger than I wanted but I’m still searching for chicken that tastes like chicken and that isn’t too spongy?, gigantic and tasteless from being uniquely corn fed and hormone injected. Hopes high, I used a favorite recipe that has never failed me; Dijon mustard, mixed herbs, garlic and butter. This chicken was good!
Perhaps I exaggerated a bit as I pulled up handfuls of rosemary, oregano and thyme from the garden, but the sky was storm black and it reminded me that winter is here but my fresh herbs won’t be for too much longer. The sissy basil plants caved in during the last frost.
I made a paste from the herbs and garlic using my Cuisinart “Mini Prep” processor ( a supermarket find for $15!). I then added good melted French butter and good French Dijon mustard. The aroma was fabulous! As a test, I spread some on an American piece of toast because I didn’t have a good French baguette 😀 It occurred to me that this spread would make a luscious, upscale garlic bread.
After spatchcocking the bird, I loosened the skin over the breast, legs and thighs by running my fingers between the skin and meat, then inserting the spread and finally spreading it all over the chicken. This works best if the chicken is room temperature and not cold like mine was 🙂
After all these years I have learned that aluminum foil can be used to protect ovenware from greasy burned in crusts and stains that require a substantial portion of your life cycle to clean. Duh. Loss of kitchen help after retirement makes you smart 😀
Browned, garlicky orzo was perfect with this mountainous chicken breast. My husband loved this plate. I was just as satisfied with the hefty, crispy chicken leg and leftover salad.
Herb Mustard Roasted Chicken
Leaves from 3 handfuls of mixed fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano)
6 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 1/2-3 lb whole chicken, spatchcocked
In a food processor, chop the herbs, garlic, salt and pepper into a paste, place into a bowl and whisk in the butter and mustard.
Loosen the skin over the breast, thighs and legs, then insert the mustard mixture between the skin and meat. Reserve 2 tbsp of the mustard mixture and spread the rest over the whole chicken. Add 2 tbsp of melted butter to the reserved mustard mixture and set aside.
Roast the chicken on a rack at 400F for 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes with the mustard butter mixture.
2 tbsp butter
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 cup dried orzo
1 2/3 cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Melt the butter in a large sauce pan, then saute the orzo and garlic until the pasta begins to brown. Add the broth, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, cover, then simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir in the parsley and cheese and serve.