Chef's Note: Our two little apartment-size stoves at Canal House do not come with a rotisserie oven feature. So when we want to “rotisserie” a chicken, we put the bird directly on the oven rack and slide a pan of sliced crusty bread, root vegetables, or potatoes and lemons onto the rack below to catch the flavorful juices.
When we roast a bird this way, we like to spatchcock it—that is, split it so it lies flat, like an open book. It makes the chicken easier to handle and carve, and it cooks quicker, too.
For the chicken
- 1 chicken, 3–4 pounds
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼–½ teaspoon pimentón
- Salt and pepper
For the potatoes
- 6 medium waxy potatoes, such as Yukon gold, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
- 1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds
- Leaves from 8–10 sprigs of fresh thyme
- ¼ cup of California Olive Ranch extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Place one oven rack in the upper third and another oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 475°.
For the chicken, use kitchen shears to cut out the backbone (save it for making stock, if you like). Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Spread the bird out skin side up so it lays flat. Tuck the wing tips neatly behind the wings or snip them off. Rub the olive oil all over the chicken and season it with the pimentón and salt and pepper. Set the bird aside.
For the potatoes, put the potatoes, lemon, thyme, and olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and gently mix everything together. Cover the bottom of a shallow roasting pan with the potatoes and lemon, drizzling any of the remaining olive oil from the bowl on top.
Place the chicken in the oven breast side up directly on the upper rack in the oven. Put the pan of potatoes on the lower rack beneath the bird to catch the drippings. Roast the chicken and potatoes for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400° and continue roasting the chicken until the skin is golden brown and the thigh juices run clear when pricked, about 20 minutes. The potatoes should be browned and tender by the time the chicken is finished roasting. Leave them in the oven longer if they need more time.
Lift the chicken off the rack and place it in the pan with the potatoes and lemons. Let it rest out of the oven for 10–15 minutes before carving. Serve the chicken with the potatoes and lemons.
Recipe courtesy of Canal House Cooks Every Day (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2012), by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer
Reprinted with permission from the authors