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Chicken is the most popular meat in America, and that means that we’re literally always looking for new chicken recipes that we haven’t tried before. Valerie Bertinelli, author of Valerie’s Home Cooking, knows that struggle all too well, but she has a fun roasted chicken recipe that won’t bore you, and she changes things up in two simple ways. For starters, she spatchcocks her chicken, and then, she roasts it on top of sourdough bread, which turns into a built-in side dish.
If you’ve never made spatchcocked, or butterflied, chicken, then you’re in for a treat. You’ll need to remove the backbone from the bird, then press it open by cracking the breastbone. These days, you can sometimes find spatchcocked chicken at the store, where the butchers have done the work for you, but doing it yourself isn’t that hard as long as you have a sturdy pair of kitchen shears. And once you’ve mastered the art of spatchcocking, you’ll want to do it again and again. That’s because spatchcocked chicken both cooks more quickly than a regular whole roast chicken, keeping the meat tender and juicy, but it also develops lots of extra flavor. Way more chicken skin is exposed to the heat in this method, giving you extra caramelized, crispy bits to fight over with the family.
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The other intriguing method in Bertinelli’s recipe is that she roasts the chicken on a bed of thickly sliced sourdough bread. As the chicken roasts, the drippings fall on top of the buttered bread slices, infusing them with rich, savory flavor. The bread crisps up in some places and stays soft in others, and is sort of like a hands-off, rustic stuffing.
The whole meal is ready in just over an hour, and it only calls for 20 minutes of active time. While the chicken roasts, you can whip up a fresh green salad to help cut the richness of the chicken and bread, or, let’s be real, sit on the couch and scroll for a while. At the end of the hour, you’ll be ready to feast on juicy, savory, crispy roast spatchcocked chicken, with buttery, toasted, tangy sourdough saturated with rich drippings as your side.
Before you go, check out Ina Garten’s easy weeknight dinner recipes below:
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