Hot Tub Chicken

February  5, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

My first bottle of Meyer Lemon Olive Oil inspired me to create this dish. I made a wet rub with garlic cloves, salt, peppercorns, a seranno chili, lemon zest and that wonderful olive oil. Rubbed under the skin and all over the top, I placed that bird in the fridge to do it's thing while I prepared the sauce for the hot tub that perfectly grilled chicken would sit in for it's final, but tasty, braise before being carved into juicy slices and slathered with the sauce which now has reduced into a ooey gooey lemony mustard and wine soaked olivy (is that even a word?) garlic blanket. Try reading THAT 3x fast. It was that good. In the middle of one of the worst weather months on record, I still crave that dish so instead of a grill I roasted the chicken in the oven and placed it into a hot tub inside instead of outside. Doesn't really matter where you make it, it tasted just as good as the first time. - Stockout —Stockout

Test Kitchen Notes

The layers of flavor in Stockout's creatively titled Hot Tub Chicken start with a wet rub tucked underneath the skin and finish with a tangy mustard sauce. Simple to prepare with lots of different textures: dots of mustard grains, purple onions and smooth green olives. A great dish to entertain with—just add a side of roasted potatoes and you're done! —broccolirose

What You'll Need
  • Wet Rub + chicken
  • 10 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 serrano chili, minced (with seeds)
  • zest from one lemon
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons meyer lemon olive oil + more if needed
  • 1 spatchcocked chicken or 1 roaster cut into 8 pieces
  • Hot Tub Sauce
  • 1/2 cup meyer lemon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, cut into rounds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs fresh lemon thyme, English thyme or Lemon Verbana
  • 1 serrano chili chopped (seeds optional)
  • 1/2 cup grainy Dijon mustard
  • 12 pitted large marinaded green olives (picholine, manzanillo or queen) but any from your olive bar would work fine
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Juice from zested lemon
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. In a morter and pestle (or a mini processor) place garlic and salt and pulverize. Add peppercorns and contine to grind until broken up. Add chili and pound until paste forms. Add lemon zest and stir until all incorporated and a smooth paste is formed.
  2. Wash and dry chicken. Loosening the skin from the meat, place a teaspoon of the paste under each section and rub to smooth it out. Leftover paste is rubbed on the outside skin. Place chicken in frigerator to marinade for about 2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile make the sauce.
  4. In a fry pan, heat oil and saute onion rounds, bay leaf, thyme and chili for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add mustard, olives, white wine and lemon juice. Stir and taste for seasoning.
  6. Preheat oven to 375F. Place chicken in a roasting pan, skin side up. Roast for 30 minutes or until the skin develops a nice golden brown color.
  7. Add sauce to the roasting pan and baste the chicken a few times, making sure to cover all the exposed meat. Continue roasting and basting for another 20-30 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 180 degrees in the thigh.
  8. Remove the chicken, tent on a platter and keep warm in the oven.
  9. Pour the pan drippings into frying pan and simmer until it reduces to the consistency of olive oil.
  10. If a roaster, carve the bird and serve with the sauce. Would be great over basmati or jasmine rice or a grain like quinoa, farro or bulgur.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • HandRocksLadle
  • mrslarkin
  • cheese1227
  • aargersi

23 Reviews

RisaCooks February 22, 2011
I have got to try this. It looks amazing.
AntoniaJames February 21, 2011
I made this last night. Terrific! Didn't use olives because I was testing another recipe for EPs, and I used less garlic, and less of the lemon olive oil. I had a bunch of tiny, very ripe Meyer lemons, which may have produced more juice than a single regular sized lemon. I spatchcocked the chicken and let it marinate for about three and a half hours. We were pressed for time, because we were about an hour behind schedule, due to some chores that took a lot longer than expected. I ended up browning the marinated chicken in a hot cast iron skillet then adding the sauce, with extra water, and braise-roasting the bird in a hot (425) oven, adding more water after 30 minutes and tenting it after about forty. It was ridiculously delicious. The strong but mellow lemon flavor + the strong but mellow garlic flavors were out of this world. Mr T said after dinner, "Great chicken, Antonia James. You' re really improving your game." I take that as the ultimate compliment. Of course, I told him I owed it all to you. ;o)
AntoniaJames February 17, 2011
Congrats on the EP, Stockout!! What a great looking recipe. Makes me hungry just to read the headnote. This is definitely on the must-try-NOW list, at the top of the queue, in fact, for the next spatchcocked chicken I make, which most likely will be Sunday. Thanks for posting this. We love your recipes!! ;o)
Stockout February 17, 2011
Thanx AJ, sometimes I get it right. I think this is a really good summer dish and just had to post it last week. I usually make grill bread and layer the chicken and sauce on it and just let it drip down my arm, definately a summer grill dish. Let me know what you think because you can use your grill year round.
cateler February 14, 2011
This was just DEEvine! Oh my, the crispy garlic skin and supermoist meat, the yummy onions ... just too good. Want to make this again and again.
Stockout February 17, 2011
I am soooo glad when someone has the same tastes as I do. I just love the lemon and salty olives bathing in all that garlic. Thanks for the thumbs up!!!
Stockout February 17, 2011
I am soooo glad when someone has the same tastes as I do. I just love the lemon and salty olives bathing in all that garlic. Thanks for the thumbs up!!!
Stockout February 17, 2011
I am soooo glad when someone has the same tastes as I do. I just love the lemon and salty olives bathing in all that garlic. Thanks for the thumbs up!!!
HandRocksLadle February 13, 2011
What a delicious recipe! I made this for dinner last night and we had the leftovers as lunch today. The serranos added the perfect amount of heat! Served over brown rice cooked with shallots and garlic.
Stockout February 13, 2011
Well, thank you ma'am for the feedback. Always like to know when someone likes or even dislikes my recipes. Keeps me striving to post good stuff....;o)
mrslarkin February 9, 2011
Sounds delicious and looks gorgeous! The pic seriously looks like a Van Gogh, with all the swirling onions and olives!
Stockout February 10, 2011
Don't try to take a pic with a flash when you have food in an aluminum pan...:o)
I should have taken more pics but my patience is the worst. I just wanted to eat. Thanks MrsL.
cheese1227 February 9, 2011
The layers of flavors on this chicken must just be fabulous.
Stockout February 10, 2011
You have to wait for your buds to catch up to the layers. It really is a burst, thanks.
aargersi February 7, 2011
Hi Stockout! I can't reply to a reply unless I am on my iPhone (maybe it is an Explorer thing?) but of COURSE rename it if you'd like - it's your recipe! I would be honored if you let my silliness invade your recipe :-)

I really do want to make this soon ... it sounds uber-delicious!
Stockout February 7, 2011
Be prepared to be hit with an explosion of flavors. Lemons are #1 on my list, whether savory or sweet and them with the briny marinaded olives make you PUCKER. I just love it.
Hope you had a great Super Bowl. Bet there were some really good eats at your house. Texans just....DO IT BETTER!!
aargersi February 6, 2011
I would like some hot tub chicken please!!!
Stockout February 6, 2011
I was trying to think of a quirky I have your permission to rename this dish? I can't see beyond my nose, I swear. Too funny aargersi, thanks for the morning smile.
hardlikearmour February 5, 2011
yummy! This sounds delicious, and I love the photo. Is it bad that I want to eat the sauce with a ladle?
Stockout February 6, 2011
Thanks hardlikearmour......I am with you on the sauce, I make leftovers as fajitas, so I NEVER waste this sauce. Just mix the leftover sauce with sour cream and some chopped tomatoes, roasted peppers in warmed flour tortillas over the garlicy chicken....a different take but oh so good.
drbabs February 5, 2011
I always love your recipes--this sounds great.
Stockout February 5, 2011
Thanks ma'am, same your way!! I am so happy to not be traveling for a few weeks, I decided to cook a Somehow a roasted bird of any kind can make you forget all the wasted time spent on endless cancellations and irate traveling companions. Now, I need to catch up on some really terrific cardamon dishes I have GOT to try and to wish a few congratulations to some wonderful foodie friends. Have a great weekend!!
drbabs February 5, 2011
Thanks, stockout--you, too!