Roasted Chicken With Salsa Verde
by Michael Pruett, Chef, Cento Ristorante, Madison, Wisconsin
Once prepped, this roasted chicken is as easy to cook as it is to enjoy. Plus the salsa verde can be prepped ahead, and will keep in the refrigerator for a few days after for leftovers.
- 1 whole Smart Chicken
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Using kitchen shears, cut out the backbone of the chicken and remove any fat (this can be reserved for use in a chicken stock). Spread the butterflied chicken across your cutting board to expose the inner cavity of the bird. Then, find the breast bone, which is a firm triangular bone toward the middle of the bird that tapers down toward the legs. Using a heavy chef’s knife, cut around the breast bone to remove it. Then, cut between the breasts to half the whole chicken.
Place the chicken halves, skin-side up, on two cast iron skillets (or other oven safe skillets) and dab with the olive oil. Cut the lemon in half and place each half, cut-side down, next to the chicken on each skillet.
Roast the chicken in the oven for 35 minutes, basting every 10 minutes. If it is not browning well, turn it over after 15 minutes, and then back over for the last 5 minutes. When the chicken is done, remove it to a platter and pour off any excess fat. Cut each breast in half and cut the thigh from the leg. Serve with Salsa Verde (recipe follows) and garnish with the roasted lemon.
- Salsa Verde
- ¼ cup capers in salt
- 3 anchovy filets
- 3 garlic cloves
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped tarragon
- ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
- ¼ cup chopped fresh sage
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Soak capers in cold water for an hour, then drain. Soak anchovies in cold water for 15 minutes, then pat dry and remove the bones. Using a mortar and pestle, smash the capers, anchovies, and garlic, until smooth, then transfer to a large bowl. Add all herbs and olive oil. (The mixture should be chunky, not oily.) Season with sea salt and serve.