Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Kitchn's Spatchcocked Ricotta Chicken (15/24)

Because I'm clearly behind on posting chickens, I'm going to bust them all out in succession. I know, I keep saying that. But I mean it this time. Hopefully.

Chicken number fifteen hails from a blog that I've come to enjoy quite a bit. When I saw the recipe's title, I was sold. What in the world does it mean to spatchcock? How is the ricotta incorporated in the recipe? Why haven't I done more chickens that include cheese? Why is there no "e" in "The Kitchn"? So many questions that this experience, eventually, managed to answer.

So to get things going, grab a mixing bowl and put together some ricotta, parmagiano-reggiano, bread crumbs, basil, garlic, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and an egg.

Stir to combine until the mixture looks like...well, a bunch of ricotta mixed with stuff.

After you wash and pat your chicken dry, butterfly, or spatchcock, the chicken and stuff the ricotta filling under the skin. Don't worry if things get a little messy, because they will. It had been a while since I'd butterflied a chicken, but, like riding a bike, once you've butterflied a chicken, you never forget how to butterfly a chicken.

Drizzle with as much olive oil as you want and season generously with salt and pepper. No exact measurements required. Crank up the oven to 400 degrees and send your unnaturally plump chicken into the oven.

One hour later, your chicken should look a little something like this. Business in the front.

Cheesy vomit in the back.

But don't let the cheese vomit, or the disgustingly swollen carcass, deter you from enjoying this chicken.

Just look past the weirdness of it all and dig in. You won't regret it.

My main concern with roasting butterflied chickens is that they tend to dry out more quickly. With a massive wall of fatty cheese in the way, drying out the chicken is impossible. The first cut released an avalanche of juices and ricotta and the smell of basil filled the air. The meat was perfectly tender and the creamy ricotta took on an extremely savory flavor from the chicken. Each bite had hints of the classic combination of basil, garlic, and lemon, accented by an intense salty and peppery kick from the chicken's skin. Just thinking about the beautiful melding of flavors and textures makes my stomach growl and beg for more chicken-infused cheesy vomit.

Just like the author of The Kitchn says, this chicken is a great way to, literally, stretch a chicken to feed more people. Or just stretch the stomachs of the same number of people. Simple, filling, and delicious, the way a roast chicken should be.

I don't quite know yet where this chicken falls in the grand scheme of things, but this has definitely been my favorite spatchcocked chicken. Step aside America's Test Kitchen and Jacques Pépin.


  1. Dude, I wish I'd been cool enough to suggest that chicken, but I don't think I gave you the rec. A mystery friend deserves the thanks instead. It looks delicious -- as if a veggie lasagna filling decided to break-up with pasta and date a chicken instead.

  2. Whaaaattttttt??? Hmmmm. Alrighty then. You might as well have been the one to recommend it to me.

    Hahaha, veggie lasagna filling is so right. I don't know who I'd choose between pasta and chicken.


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