Perfectly roasted chicken and creamy mashed potatoes may just be the epitome of comforting, home-cooked food. Spatchcock, or butterflied whole chicken is a popular method that splits, then flattens the chicken—yielding a roasted chicken in much less time. It also exposes more skin, which crisps up nicely at higher temperatures. This simple recipe from Cook’s Illustrated is a breeze to prepare and produces spectacular results – dark golden skin, juicy succulent chicken and flavorful Yukon gold potatoes infused with savory chicken drippings. The parsley-caper sauce adds a burst of bright flavor and great color. Serve with your favorite vegetable – sautéed spinach, roasted carrots, or charred broccoli make perfect accompaniments.
For the Chicken and Potatoes:
1 (4-4 1/2-pound) whole chicken, giblets discarded
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 3/4 cups water
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
For the Parsley Sauce
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons capers, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
Kosher salt and pepper
FOR THE CHICKEN AND POTATOES:
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Place chicken breast side down on cutting board. Using kitchen shears, cut through bones on either side of backbone; discard backbone. Flip chicken over and press on breastbone to flatten. Tuck wingtips behind back. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Rub skin side of chicken with oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Combine potatoes, water, garlic, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in 12-inch oven-safe skillet. Place chicken breast side up on top of potato mixture. Bring potato mixture to boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, transfer skillet to oven and roast until breast registers 160 degrees and thighs register 175 degrees, 50 minutes to 1 hour 5 minutes, rotating skillet halfway through roasting.
- Remove chicken from oven and return skillet to stovetop. Transfer chicken to carving board and let rest for 15 minutes. Bring potato mixture to simmer over medium-high heat (use caution! skillet handle will be hot). Cook until potatoes are fully tender and all liquid has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Off heat, use potato masher to coarsely smash potatoes, leaving some chunks intact. Stir in half-and-half and chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Carve chicken and serve with potatoes and parsley sauce.
FOR THE PARSLEY SAUCE:
- While the chicken roasts, prepare parsley-caper sauce. Combine parsley, oil, capers, shallot, and lemon juice in bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.