(If you are a fan of succulent and juicy roasted chicken that has been marinated in delicious Asian flavors, that is).
((And if you aren’t a fan, I’m sorry for you, but you should still consider making this recipe for a loved one who is a chicken appreciator)).
The idea is that you can reduce the cook time for a whole bird by cutting out the backbone and flattening the chicken. (And it also allows for a unique and fun presentation!)
This bad girl roasted up in about 35-40 minutes, versus the standard 1 hour plus for a whole roasted chicken. This means that this recipe is definitely a dinner that you can reasonably make during the week, after work.
(Or, you know, whenever you are craving chicken, which for me is typically all day everyday). The marinade for this chicken is incredible. The key ingredient here is the fresh lemongrass (hence the name of the recipe), and it is not something that you can really substitute, sorry folks. If you are not familiar with lemongrass, it is a classic thai ingredient that lends an herbal and intensely lemony flavor to dishes. If you are a thai food appreciator you’ll know it when you smell and taste it, but it is different from actual lemon, so don’t be tempted to substitute.
In terms of lemongrass access- I have seen it more and more regularly at standard grocery stores here in San Diego, but if in doubt, you can always find it at Asian markets like 99 Ranch.
The technique I used here for roasting was actually to start the entire thing in a grill pan to get some nice grill marks on the bird, and then flip it and finish roasting in the oven.
People always ask about the “timing” for roasting a bird. Like I said, it definitely is a shorter process than roasting a non-spatchcocked bird, but I still highly recommend roasting using a meat thermometer instead of going by timing alone. This way you guarantee that your meat is cooked to a safe level and you can also prevent over-cooking and having a dried out bird.Place the meat thermometer in the largest part of the thigh; thigh meat cooks slower than breast meat, so once it is cooked to temperature you can safely be assured that the breasts will be done as well.
Your chicken will be done when the thigh meat registers 165 degrees.So now you have no excuse- you can have a succulent roasted bird any night of the week. For me, I plan to make this recipe in repetition and might have to start by making it tonight while Dave and I hunker down to watch the Olympics.
Hope you have a wonderful week!
Spatchcocked Lemongrass Chicken
- 1 whole chicken about 4-5 lbs
- 1/2 cup shredded lemongrass I shredded mine on a microplane grater, but you can also use a food processor
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 5 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil plus more for brushing grill pan
- Cilantro for garnishing (optional)
- Combine all ingredients for the marinade in a mixing bowl- lemongrass, shallot, garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, salt, sugar, and oil. Whisk together to combine.
- To prepare the chicken- with breast side down, locate the backbone. Using a very sharp pair of kitchen shears, cut down each side of the spine to remove the backbone. Then flip the chicken back to breast-side up and press on the sternum until chicken flattens out.
- Place chicken in a non-reactive dish and pour marinade over the top.
- Rub the marinade into the chicken and be sure to get some garlic and lemongrass under the skin for extra flavor.
- Marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours in advance.
- Next, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Pre- heat a grill pan to high heat. Sear the chicken breast-side down for 4-5 minutes or until blackened sear marks develop, then flip.
- Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh.
- Place the entire pan in the oven and roast, uncovered, for about 35-40 minutes or until the thermometer reads 165 degrees.
- Serve garnished with cilantro.