So happy to be continuing in my soigne video series with this super delicious Spatchcock Chicken Recipe with Lemon Thyme Pan Sauce! It’s crazy easy to do and loaded with flavor, and the best part is that it takes an hour on the dot to prepare. Just think, you can have an insanely delicious meal on the dinner table in under 1 hour. Since I’ve done beef, fish and pork for the soigne video series I felt the only thing left to finish off the bunch was chicken. Now that I’ve hit the most famous 4 proteins I can now go back to the drawing table and do whatever I’d like.
The term spatchcock almost doesn’t seem like a real word but it’s from the original word spitchcock which is of Irish origin and then later turned to “spatchcock” in the 18th century by the English. It’s simply the process of removing the backbone of the chicken and laying it out flat. The term most often used in America is “Flattened Chicken,” but since you know I’m a bit of a traditionalist I’ll call it spatchcock! To remove the backbone from the chicken you need to first remove it from the package, discard the giblets and remove the back bone using either an incredibly sharp knife or some kitchen shears. Both work fine, it’s just a matter of preference. Once the backbone is removed, discard it or keep it for chicken stock, and place it breast side up and gently press down to flatten. Be sure to fold over the thighs so that they are tucked in and not hanging on the outside.
I decided to sear the spatchcock chicken first before roasting it just to ensure I would get a really nice brown on the skin. However, you can absolutely bypass this process and go straight to the oven for roasting, just be sure you season it generously with salt and pepper before cooking. The goal is to get the skin crisped up and browned while making sure the inside is cooked and tender so whichever way you are most comfortable with then I advise doing that. You can also take a step further and add some lemon wheels and fresh thyme sprigs to the top of the chicken before roasting to incorporate more flavor, but be careful because it can cause the chicken skin to be less crisp.
After the chicken is finished cooking, remove it from the pan and set it aside. Return the pan to the stove and turn the heat to medium-high. Please please please don’t forget to use a hand towel when moving the pan around because just in case your forgot, that sucker just got out of the oven at 400° so chances are, it’s piping hot! Drain a bit of the fat from the pan before adding it to the burner and add in some chopped pancetta and you want to slightly cook it before adding in the other ingredients. I like to roast up the pearl onions until they’ve got a nice caramelization on them before adding in everything else. A really easy trick to get the pearl onions out of the outside peelings, cut off the root end and place in some boiling water for 30 seconds. Strain and cool and then simply pinch from the other end and they will sort of fire right out of the peel. Seriously just a really easy way to peel as opposed to doing it with a pairing knife, which I swear takes forever.
You can finish off this Spatchcock Chicken Recipe with Lemon Thyme Pan Sauce with a bit of butter and then pour it all over the spatchcock chicken. I roasted up some whole garlic cloves because while you can’t couldn’t see it in a video I had a huge loaf of artisan bread that I soaked up in the pan drippings and then smothered the roasted garlic all over it and ooohhhh weeee was it right on the money! Well that’s just about all I got for now, and I can’t stress enough that if you’re looking for a really good and easy to make week night meal than this Spatchcock Chicken Recipe with Lemon Thyme Pan Sauce is where it’s at!
Spatchcock Chicken Recipe with Lemon Thyme Pan Sauce
- 1 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 spatchcock chicken
- 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter cut into pads
- 1 ounce of chopped pancetta
- 1 ½ cups of peeled pearl onions
- 2 finely minced cloves of garlic
- 6 lemon wheels
- 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°.
Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan at medium-high heat and place the chicken skin side down once the oil begins to lightly smoke.
Cook until golden brown, about 4 to 6 minutes.
Flip the chicken over and add in a ½ stick of butter. Baste the chicken.
Finish the chicken in the oven at 400° for 45 to 50 minutes or until cooked throughout.
Once the chicken is finished cooking, remove it from the pan and discard the pan drippings.
Return the pan to the burger over medium-high heat and add in the pancetta and cook until about ½ way done cooking and then add in the pearl onions and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned and tender. Stir in the garlic, lemon wheels and thyme and sauté for another 2 minutes.
Finish the sauce with the remaining butter and salt and pepper and pour over the chicken.