Crisp Chunks of Bread Soak Up the Juices in this Traybake.
Roasted chickens show up regularly in my kitchen. I have never grown tired of them and I never will. They are pure comfort food and nothing smells better than a chicken roasting away in the oven. I sometimes leave it whole and intact and other times I spatchcock it as I’ve done here. It just depends on my mood. But one thing never changes. Ever since Samin Nosrat published her Buttermilk Brined Roast Chicken in her cookbook Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, I’ve never looked back.
It doesn’t matter what else I’m adding to the seasoning, I stick to the basics – one chicken in a ziplock bag with 2 cups buttermilk and 2 tablespoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt. Let it sit overnight. I’ve sometimes added aromatics, herbs, and spices to the brine, or just left it as is. It produces a juicy and flavorful bird every time.
For this recipe, I added a dry rub after removing the chicken from the salted buttermilk brine. My son and I put our heads together and came up with a combination of chile powder, paprika, ground celery and cumin seeds, plus a little muscovado sugar, among other things. You’ll notice a couple of unusual ingredients in the rub. The first is anardana seeds. I recently tasted these for the first time and was surprised at their flavor. These are the dried seeds from a pomegranate and are sweet, tart and brightly flavored. I find them delightful. They’re used extensively in Indian and Iranian cuisine, but when my son suggested adding them to this rub, I heartily agreed.
While the next ingredient isn’t really unusual, I don’t recall seeing it used in this way. We ground up a tablespoon of unsweetened toasted coconut and mixed it into the rub. The slightly sweet, but warm flavor rounded out the flavors of the other spices and I felt the spice blend was now ready to go.
I love adding pieces of bread to the pan when roasting a chicken. In this case I sat the chicken on top of some of the bread pieces so they would soak up those glorious chicken juices. I then added the rest to the pan halfway through the roasting time, giving them the time they needed to get good and crisp. A few Fresno chiles and some halved Meyer lemons added brightness to the mix.
With a chicken this large – 4 1/2 to 5 pounds – we eat the dark meat and wings on the first night and are left with the breast meat to enjoy at another time. You will notice I don’t snip off the wing tips as is recommended by many chefs and cooks. Those crispy tips are some of my favorite parts of the chicken to eat. I don’t know what’s better, a bite of the chicken or one of those crispy croutons soaked in the juices from the chicken with a squeeze of roasted Meyer lemon. This meal will always be near the top of my list.
Wow! This will be my first spatchcock! Chicken is my absolute favorite food! Anxious to do the buttermilk brine. I will most definitely use it for all my chicken going forward! Thanks 😊
I have a feeling something is not right here. My message says this is coming from Sherie Robins, but I have a feeling that’s not the case. Am I right?
I must have a clone because that wasn’t me. Though I made this stellar dish. A+.
I knew it wasn’t you and I’m working on figuring out who it actually is. Lol! Thank you, Sherie!
Made this last night. We absolutely loved it so much! Because it’s just the two of us, we split the spatchcocked chicken in half so I’ve got another half in the frig for tonight. We were going to grill it but Matt is angling for us to do a repeat. Yes, it was that delicious.
I love this so much!!! And what a good idea to hold off on the other half of the chicken. Although I’d probably just cook the whole thing and say, “Here are the leftovers. Enjoy!” 😅
I didn’t have the same spices so I modified them a bit, and Carl would look askance at whole chilis (though he did not guess at the zippy spice I tossed on the chook and the bread!) but otherwise I kept to the recipe and we had this for supper the other night. Unbelievably delicious! The chicken was so juicy – I do not know why I have waited so long to try Samin’s method but am glad I now have, thanks to you! There may have been fights over the croutons. I will not elaborate. I had some really nice tomatoes and cucumber and made a simple salad of them and some red peppers, with a punchy dijon-forward vinaigrette, and the croutons with that made for the best panzanella ever. Thank you Renee!
This looks absolutely amazing Renee. You know me. I don’t cook much. I don’t enjoy it anymore but this is tempting. I will let you know how I do.
Christina, the great part is you have plenty of leftovers. So there’s no need to cook for a couple of days after you make this. Lol! I’d love it if you made this. And of course, I want to hear all about it.❤️
Another fabulous recipe! Have to try!
Yay! Please let me know when you make it. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say!