Spatchcocking chicken, also called butterflying, calls for cutting the bird along its backbone, then opening it up so that it can lie flat in the pan. Spatchcocked chickens cook quickly and evenly, turning gorgeously brown in the process. You can ask your butcher to spatchcock the chicken for you, but it’s not a hard thing to do yourself. Good, sharp poultry shears are all you need.
Roasting grapes with a sprinkle of sugar and some sherry vinegar is one of those culinary party tricks that I pull out whenever I want to seem impressively elegant without actually doing much work. Here it is with a golden spatchcocked chicken. This is company-worthy, weeknight easy, and exceedingly pretty if you use a combination of red and green grapes.
If you like, you can skip making the pan sauce and just serve the chicken with the grapes on top, drizzled with the sherry vinegar.
I love this with polenta made with lots of butter, or nutty, plump farro tossed with plenty of olive oil while still hot after cooking. In both cases, you want the fat to contrast with the vinegar in the grapes.
— Melissa Clark
ON-DEMAND: Listen to Faith and Melissa dish about the recipes in Dinner on The Faith Middleton Food Schmooze®.
Reprinted from Dinner. Copyright © 2017 by Melissa Clark. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Eric Wolfinger. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more as needed
- 1-1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds lightly crushed in a mortar and pestle
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ground black pepper plus more as needed
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 spatchcocked chicken (4-1/2 to 5 pounds) patted dry with paper towels
- 12 ounces red seedless grapes, stemmed (1-1/2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or more to taste
- 1-1/2 teapoons unsalted butter
- In a small bowl, combine the 1 tablespoon salt, fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon pepper, lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Rub this mixture generously over the chicken. Place the chicken, skin-side up, on a rimmed baking sheet and let it stand for at least 1 hour.
- About 15 minutes before you are ready to cook the chicken, heat the oven to 475°F.
- Transfer the chicken to the oven and roast it for 20 minutes.
- In a small bowl, toss the grapes with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, the sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Scatter the grapes around the chicken, and roast until the chicken is just cooked through and the grapes are lightly caramelized, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest. Spoon the grapes into a bowl. Place the baking sheet over two burners on medium-high heat. Add the vinegar to the pan juices and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the baking sheet. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and warm it over medium heat. Whisk in the butter.
- Carve the chicken and top it with the grapes and spoonfuls of the sauce.
Total time: 1-3/4 Hours + at least 1 hour marinating
Brian Allman says
This was delicious…
Nikii Leigh says
For this I used a 6 pound chicken. Because my chicken was larger I used 1 tsp more salt and pepper as well as 2 tsp more oil on the chicken it’s self. it took a bit longer to cook. I left it in for 20 minutes to start, then added the grapes. I continued roasting it for another 40 minutes, checking with a instant read thermometer every 5 minutes after the 30 minute mark until it read 165F. I did check on this 25 minutes in after the first 20 minutes of roasting, intending to take the grapes out at that point but in my case they weren’t roasting or carmelizing, because there was so much liquid coming from my chicken they were stewing (still a tasty result) so I left them in for the rest of the time of roasting the chicken. I didn’t have a lemon or dried zest so instead I substituted it for 1 tablespoon of dried orange peel, this i picked off easily at the end of cooking and it had done its job for transferring flavor. Because nothing I was using was fresh I skipped the hour of marinating and put the chicken straight into the preheated oven after rubbing with the spice, orange and oil mixture. Because my family likes a crispy skin I finished this (after removing the chicken and putting on a cookie sheet safe for broiling on all by its self) in the broiler, checking and turning every 30 seconds. The bones, ligaments and left over skin from this made an amazing bone broth! The sauce that went with this tasted very nice although my family agreed that we will probably turn it into a gravy next time, as it was it didn’t want to stay on what it was intended to be poured on. Lovely recipie! Will be making this again next time I have some less than crisp grapes.
I served this with home made guda mac n’ cheese made on the stove top
As well as some balsalmic roasted cauliflower and baby bella mushrooms made on the rack just under the middle rack of the oven at the same time as the chicken.