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Roasting a whole chicken can be the best way to start your week. For two people, one chicken can easily stretch into two or more meals, saving you money and time, not to mention, leaving you with a carcass that can be slow-simmered with aromatics to create a great stock to freeze and use later. I recommend using a dry brine, but a wet brine or brine injection also works well. Brining your bird the day before, or at least 2 hours in advance, is key. With a dry brine, the result will be juicy and incredibly flavorful meat. Everyone has preferences when it comes to a roast chicken, some like crispy skin, some enjoy a nice spice crust from a dry rub, some prefer sticky and flavorful skin from a marinade while some enjoy a nice charred bird. I usually opt for a simple salt and pepper roast chicken with crispy skin or an occasional dry-rubbed bird. Not very often do I marinate my chicken until I tried this recipe. This won’t give you as crispy skin as a dry roasted bird since the liquid has to evaporate before it caramelizes but you will get some charred parts from the sugar content and incredibly flavorful dinner. I don’t marinate the chicken for very long since we dry brine the day before, this is more of a sauce that glazes the bird as it cooks. The key to this flavorful marinade is the Mombacho Café cooking base. We slowly cook the aromatics and spices in oil to create a sofrito that can be the base for many dishes.
The name itself sounds advanced and technical, but even a novice cook can perfectly spatchcock a bird. The final result is a butterflied bird that will cook evenly and much more quickly than its whole counterpart.
Place your whole bird, breast side down, on a cutting board (on a clean towel to prevent slippage). With kitchen shears or scissors, cut along the side of the spine, right through the ribs until your bird splits open. Slice down the other side of the spine to remove the backbone. Turn it over, inner side down, open it up and flatten it out, pressing down on the breast bone to crack it. The breasts will now be in the middle of your chicken with the legs and thighs on the outer edges. (Don’t throw it out, but save it to add to the bones from your whole, cooked chicken to make a stock or a jus to eat with the chicken.) The thighs and legs in this orientation protect high heat from reaching the breast too soon, resulting in a perfectly cooked bird.