This butterflied chicken is great for all days, nights, and seasons, but is particularly great for celebrations—be prepared for the scent of its cooking to make your house smell like heaven. The aromatics all work together on this one: garlic and onions play off each others' sweetness, the lavender and thyme bring out a floral taste, and smoked paprika lends a bit of depth to the honey. All the while, your side dish is being made right under the chicken, as opposed to a separate roasting pan.
The pan-dripped vegetables I chose for this recipe are ones that I've found to be the most favored amongst those I've made it for, but by all means, check out what's seasonal and looking great at the market that day, and cook accordingly. The drippings from the chicken and the marinade will just enhance it all, like really great backup singers.
*NOTE: Make sure your roasting pan is big enough to hold both vegetables and the spatchcocked chicken. If you find there might be too much crowding with the vegetables, feel free to put a handful or more aside to cook another separately, or cook all the vegetables in a separate dish. —Caroline Choe
roasting chicken, spatchcocked
whole garlic cloves, crushed
runny honey, or any good-quality honey
1 1/2 tablespoons
lavender honey (if you have)
dried thyme, or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
small onion, chopped
ground black pepper
medium potatoes, rinsed & skin-on, quartered (1 red, 1 yukon gold, 1 purple, if possible)
broccoli crown, florets cut small
cauliflower head, florets cut small (purple or yellow if available, for color)
large carrot, peeled & sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons
dried culinary lavender
In This Recipe
If you're unsure of how to best spatchcock / butterfly your chicken, feel free to follow along with this Food52 tutorial: https://food52.com/blog/10971-how-to-spatchcock-a-chicken-step-by-step
In a bowl, make your marinade. First, crush your dried lavender to release their oils. You can do as I do: Crush and roll the dried lavender back and forth in your hands, or you can use a mortar and pestle for this. (A wooden spoon, bottom of a cup, etc., also work fine.)
Once the lavender is crushed in your bowl, add in the honey (both regular and lavender, if you have it), olive oil, lemon juice, smoked paprika, thyme, crushed garlic cloves, chopped onion, Kosher salt and black pepper. Give it a good stir until all are combined, and add then add in the bay leaves.
TIME TO MARINATE: In a large Ziploc refrigerator storage bag or plastic tupperware, place in the spatchcocked chicken and pour in the marinade. Make sure the pieces are completely coated. (I like to best do this by sealing the Ziploc bag, and massaging the chicken with the marinade. Less mess!) The chicken will be best marinated overnight, or for at least 5 hours.
When the chicken is done marinating, remove the bay leaves and discard. Remove the chicken and set aside; reserve the marinade. Preheat your oven to 425° F.
In a roasting pan, place in your chopped and colorful vegetable medley (potatoes, carrot, broccoli, and cauliflower). Douse them with a bit of olive oil and the reserved chicken marinade (garlic, onions, and all), a dash of both salt and pepper, and toss until all are coated. Spread out on the bottom of the pan.
Lay the chicken flat, skin-side down (not up), on top of the vegetables. Season the chicken with a bit of Kosher salt & pepper, and put the entire roasting pan into the oven to cook for about 30-minutes.
After the 30 minutes are done, take the roasting pan out of the oven and carefully flip the chicken over with tongs, so it is now skin-side up. Season the surface of the chicken skin with salt and pepper, and put the roasting pan back into the oven to cook for another 25-30 minutes, or until the meat on the chicken thigh reads 165° on a meat thermometer (150° F on the breast meat). Or, if you don't have a meat thermometer, pierce the thickest part of the meat with a fork and see if the juices run clear (and not bloody).
Once the chicken is done, take the roasting pan out of the oven and carefully remove the chicken to rest on a plate for about 10-15 minutes.
Take this time to stir around the pan-dripped roasted vegetables and season them to your liking. Remove from the roasting pan, and to a serving plate.
Once the chicken is rested, carve up to your liking (half, quarter, however you want). Serve atop the roasted vegetables.