This recipe produces the most tender, moist chicken I’ve ever made. The skin crisps up so much that I eat half of it on the way to the table. The key to getting the meat so tender is salting it a day in advance and bringing it to room temperature before you put it in the oven. You’ll definitely want to sop up the butter, chicken fat, and capers with a crusty piece of bread. The chicken pairs well with a herby kale salad.
Serves: 4-5; Time: 1.5 hours
- 1 whole chicken
- 3 tbsp soft butter
- 2 tbsp capers
- 1.5 lb new potatoes
- 1 head garlic
- 1 lemon
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
1. The day before you plan to cook the chicken, dry the bird and salt it all over. Put it in the fridge to rest over night.
2. The next day, place the bird on the kitchen counter for 2 hours before you plan to cook it to bring it to room temperature. Pat it dry if there is any additional liquid.
3. Preheat the oven to 425 with the rack in the centre position.
4. Place the potatoes in salted water and put the pot on to boil. Let the potatoes boil for about 6 minutes or until they are still a bit firm when you pierce them with a fork. Take off the heat, drain, and set aside.
5. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, place them on the counter and smash them flat with the bottom of a glass cup. You should apply enough pressure that they barely split open (they will look like little Pac-men). Apply too much pressure and you’ll have mashed potatoes. Place the potatoes in the bottom of a roasting dish. Drizzle with olive oil and dust with salt and pepper.
6. Mix the butter and capers together. Slip a knife under the chicken skin to separate it from the meat. Take the caper butter mixture and slip it under the skin, spreading it across the chicken to coat it evenly. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the lemon and garlic.
7. Place the chicken on top of the potatoes and put it in the oven with the legs facing the back of the oven. Cook for 20 min. Once the chicken starts to brown, reduce the heat to 400 and cook for another 40 min.
8. Pierce a thigh and once the juices run clear, pull it out of the oven. Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a cutting board.
9. Turn the broiler on high and put the potatoes under the broiler for 5 minutes to finish them off and get them crispy. If you had a particularly fatty chicken, you may have to broil them for longer to get the fat to crisp.
10. Remove the potatoes from the oven and serve with the chicken.