I recently tried something new in the kitchen, and I was so delighted with the results that I decided to share it with you in a "how-to!"
As I've mentioned before, I'm a fan of Rachel Ray and her magazine, Everyday With Rachel Ray. It's the one magazine I make a point of buying every month. I like the lighthearted, down-to-earth feel of the magazine, and I really like that the publication team makes an effort to use ingredients that are accessible to almost everyone. As well, the magazine encourages readers to be creative by telling cooks to "eyeball it" for some measurements, and to substitute ingredients if necessary (in fact, they often suggest substitutions.) All in all, I've been really pleased with the recipes I've tried, and several of them have become household favorites.
In this month's issue, which was all about grilling, there was an article on butterflying chicken, and using "pastes" to flavour the birds before cooking. I was intrigued. Of course I'd heard of butterflying chicken before, but I hadn't tried my hand at it personally. As luck would have it, we went to Terrace for groceries a few days later, and at the wholesale club there were three-packs of fryers for sale, so we bought a pack, froze two of the chickens, and butterflied one for that night's supper. We used a prepared sweet Thai chili sauce to glaze the bird before roasting, and it was delicious. So much so that I decided to try the technique again this week, this time using a homemade paste as suggested in the magazine. I made up my own lemon pepper paste, and I was quite pleased with how it turned out. One of our favorite chicken dishes is a lemon-rosemary roast chicken, and this paste delivered a flavour that was reminiscent of a lighter, zingier version of that favorite dish.
The purpose of this tutorial is not to walk you through the process of cooking the chicken (although I will share with you how I prepared mine). Rather, I wanted to show you, step-by-step, how to butterfly the bird. Many people are afraid to attempt to do anything with a whole bird other than stuff it and roast it, but this really isn't hard at all, and it looks so great! Also, butterflying the bird allows it to roast evenly so it cooks in a much shorter time. So, let's get started!
Once you finish this stage, how you proceed is up to you. Also, if you aren't using a paste, you could skip step seven. I roasted my chicken in the over at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes and it turned out great!
See? Delicious! However, this is apparently a great way to prepare a whole chicken for grilling on the barbecue, so by all means fire up the grill! Just remember, always be sure that chicken is cooked thoroughly!! As well, if you have a large enough platter, you can "flatten" the chicken out to show off your butterflying skills!
I served our Lemon Pepper Roast Chicken with mashed potatoes, dipping sauce, and a yummy new salad I came up with that I'll be sharing in another post!
I also found a great, really short video on how to butterfly a chicken from Bon Appetit on YouTube. (I'm not sure how we learned to do stuff before YouTube.)
So there you go! Have a great Monday! The countdown to the weekend begins now!