When I decided to spatchcock then split this bird into two lovely individual pieces, it looked like a sweet heart side-by-side perched in the cast iron skillet. You see, I’m a food artist. For me, whenever I work with an ingredient, especially those that are totally natural and the best of Mother Nature’s bounty, meats, vegetables, fruits, I see a blank canvas. One that I can design and create into something art worthy. That’s what this ‘love bird citrus garlic chicken’ is, an expression of my inner Picasso!
With not much more than several spices, salt and pepper, bay leaves, peppercorns and chicken broth, this chicken is not only easy, yes, entry level cooking skills, but it’s magnificently beautiful and tasty. The pan seared and buttered skin and the fusion of the internal juices in the oven cooking ensure tenderness and tastiness.
Now, what would you serve with this love bird chicken? Well, just about anything, but nothing that overpowers the earthiness and rustic appeal of the bird. I’d again look at my sides from an artistic perspective, as if I’ve got a pallet of oils or color wheel. What would look stunning by its side. Possibly something in deep burgundy, like beets. Or a vibrant green like a lightly steam broccolini or green petite peas. Then you might want to go exotic and smokey with something black, like forbidden rice. If you start looking at your plates and overall cooking as a canvas of art, something that allows your inner creativity to show in the kitchen, then you might find a new perspective in the kitchen. You become Van Gogh, Picasso, Rembrandt!
- Preheat oven to 425
- 2 1/2 to 3 lb. whole organic chicken, cut in half center breast bone
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. coarse ground pepper
- 2 Tbl. butter, salted
- 2 limes, divided, one cut into about 6 round slices, one cut in half for squeezing
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 tsp. peppercorns
- Rinse and pat dry with paper towels the chicken. Sprinkle on both sides the salt and pepper. Set aside on a clean plate.
- Heat a 10-12” cast iron skillet on medium high heat. When hot, melt the butter. Put the chicken in, skin side down first. Pan sear for about 3-4 minutes. Use tongs, and flip to the underside and sear another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Tuck the lime slices under the chicken and wings. Squeeze the juice of the second lime on the chicken.
- Put the garlic cloves and bay leaves on the chicken. Add the chicken broth around it. Sprinkle on the peppercorns.
- Use heavy foil and cover the skillet well. Roast in a preheated 425 oven about 50-60 minutes (internal temperature 165). Remove. Leave covered and cool about 15 minutes. Ready to serve.
Be sure to save any broth. It will be a killer soup base.
Don't throw out those bones. Put in a pot. Cover slightly with water. Then simmer to get all the meat off of it. Plus, you have even more great soup broth.