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Spatchcock holiday chicken dinner sliced on a board with crispy potatoes and fresh thyme around.
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5 from 29 votes

The Perfect No-Fail Spatchcock Holiday Chicken Dinner – with Mushroom Gravy

My ultimate rundown on how to achieve the perfect holiday chicken dinner using the spatchcock method. Beautifully juicy, flavourful meat with insanely delicious roasted potatoes.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4 people
Cost $25/ 20€

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken 1.4 kg/ 3 lbs, the best quality you can afford
  • 600 g medium sized russet potatoes, washed and peeled (enough to fit in the bottom of your roasting pan)
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp soften butter
  • lots of sea salt

For the Thyme and Lemon Compound Butter

  • 60 g unsalted butter (3 tbsp)
  • 3.5 g fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 whole lemon, zested
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp fresh cracked black pepper

Mushroom Gravy

  • 300 g mixed mushrooms oyster, cremini or wild mushrooms
  • 800 ml chicken broth, unsalted
  • 15 g garlic, peeled and sliced (about 3 cloves)
  • 150 g white onion, peeled and sliced (about 1 onion)
  • 40 g flour (about 3 tbsp)
  • 40 g reserved fat from the roasted chicken
  • 20 g butter for cooking the mushrooms (about 1+½ tbsp)
  • ½ bunch thyme
  • 20 g dried porcini
  • 1 pc bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • splash of white wine, cognac or brandy optional

Instructions

  • Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking. Set the oven to 410°F/210°C
  • Make the compound butter by mixing everything together in a bowl with a spoon or whisk.
  • Peel and wash the potatoes. Slice the big ones in half and keep the small ones whole. Cook in a small pot until fork tender (about 10 minutes).
    Peeled potatoes in a pot ready to be boiled.
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, strain them and try to remove as much water as possible. Toss with a little oil and salt and line up in one even layer in the roasting dish. Allow to cool before adding the chicken.
    Cooked potatoes in the roasting pan ready to go.
  • Remove the wishbone first. Then flip the chicken on its front and cut along the back as shown.
    Slicing the chicken first cut.
  • Cut along the other side until you remove the back bone completely (save this piece for the gravy).
    Slicing the chicken #2
  • Flip the chicken over and cut the breast bone with the scissors to help the chicken lie flat.
    The final cut for the spatchcock chicken.
  • Use your fingers to gently separate the skin from the breast meat. Insert all the compound butter underneath the skin.
    Adding the compound butter to the chicken.
  • Cover the skin side of the chicken with regular softened butter and season heavily with salt (if brined, then season lightly).
    A buttered chicken on a board.
  • Flip the chicken over and season with garlic powder and salt.
    Seasoned chicken on a board.
  • Place the seasoned chicken skin side up over the cooked potatoes and roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until thighs reach 165°F/74°C on a thermometer.
    Raw chicken, ready to go.
  • Meanwhile start with the gravy. Begin by browning the reserved chicken back in a little oil in a small pan.
    The browned chicken back in a pan.
  • Slice the onions and garlic finely.
    Sliced onions, garlic, herbs and dried mushrooms on a cutting board.
  • Once the chicken back is browned nicely, remove the oil from the pan and discard.
    Add the onions, garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes without browning. Deglaze the pan with a shot of Cognac (optional) and then add the chicken stock, dried porcini and herbs.
    Bring to a boil, then simmer until the chicken is ready.
  • Once the chicken is ready, carefully remove it from the potatoes onto another plate (a big spatula works well here).
    Carefully drain off the fat from the roasting dish and save 40g worth of fat.
    Turn the oven up to 425°F/210°C and put the potatoes back in the oven to crisp up while you make the gravy. Set a timer for 15 minutes.
    The chicken resting on a plate.
  • Get a large saucepan hot and add the butter. Once its foamy, add the mushrooms and cook until nicely browned. Season with salt and pepper and reserve in a bowl.
    The browned mushrooms in a pan.
  • Measure out 40g of the reserved chicken fat (or just use butter) and heat in the same pan as the mushrooms. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Cook for 3-5 minutes on low heat until light brown (blonde roux).
    Let the roux cool for 5 minutes.
    Making a blonde roux in the pan.
  • Strain the fortified stock and measure out 500ml (add more chicken stock if you don't have enough).
    Slowly pour this stock into the roux while whisking vigorously to remove any lumps.
    Add the rest of the stock and bring to a boil.
    The fortified stock added to the gravy.
  • Finish the gravy with the mustard, the sauteed mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.
    The finished gravy in the pan.
  • To Serve:
    Remove the potatoes from the casserole dish and drain on paper towels.
    Place the chicken back in the oven for 5 minutes to reheat it and bring the gravy to a boil.
    Carve the chicken at the table or slice it into pieces as shown. Enjoy!
    Spatchcock holiday chicken dinner sliced on a board with crispy potatoes and fresh thyme around.

Notes

Use a roasting pan with sides tall enough to keep the juices in while the chicken cooks. Don't use a roasting tray with shallow sides as the chicken will release a lot of fat which could spill over the sides. 
Season the gravy with salt at the end because the juices from the chicken can be pretty salty from the brine.
Another important point to note is that brined chickens or turkeys tend to cook faster than un-brined. The brined chicken was ready about 10-15 minutes sooner than the unbrined.
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