Thursday, August 28, 2008

Butterflied Chicken--Barefoot Bloggers

The final Barefoot Bloggers recipe for August is Butterflied Chicken and was selected by Stefany of Proceed With Caution. At this point I am not sure that there is anyone who has not heard of the Barefoot Bloggers but if I am wrong you can read all about this wonderful group cooking our way through Ina Garten's recipes here. Ina's recipe for Butterflied Chicken can be found at the Food Network here from an episode called "Jeffery's Surprise Party" where Ina surprises her husband with a beach BBQ. (Yep, that Jeffery is a lucky man!)

My chicken is not actually butterflied (sorry Ina!) since instead of buying whole chickens, deboning them and splitting them down the middle not quite all the way through so they lay flat, I bought some lovely organic, bone in, skin on chicken thighs. Yes, I know it's cheaper and "foodier" to buy the whole chicken and cut it myself but to be honest that is so NOT fun to me. I feel the time I saved, the effort and the avoided "gross out" factor from too much raw chicken handling were well worth my splurging on the individual pieces. For those of you worried about my health (thank you by the way for your concern!), I do realize boneless, skinless breasts would be the less fatty choice but given the fact that the organic thighs were on sale and roughly half the price of the organic breasts and even cheaper and way more appetizing than the regular chicken breasts, that's what I chose. I do think I should get some points for buying organic! My chicken is not grilled over a fire either, (Remember I explained my non-existent grilling skills in a previous post). Instead I grilled them on both sides in my trusty grill pan and then so they wouldn't be charred, finished them up in the oven at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes, which cooked them perfectly. So what does my chicken have in common with Ina's recipe? The seasoning baby! It's all Ina--I followed that part to the letter!

Butterflied Chicken
Barefoot Contessa, The Food Network

1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary leaves, plus 2 sprigs
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
Good olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 roasting chickens (2 1/2 to 3 pounds each), deboned and butterflied
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced

Mix the chopped rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in a small bowl to make a paste. Place the chickens on a sheet pan, skin side up, and loosen the skin from the meat with your fingers. Place 1/2 of the paste under the skin of each chicken. Rub any remaining paste on the outside and underside of the chickens. Turn the chicken skin side down and scatter the lemon slices and sprigs of rosemary over each chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Roll each chicken up, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Heat a grill with coals. Spread the coals out in 1 dense layer and brush the grill with oil. Unroll the chickens, place them on the grill and cook for 12 minutes on each side.

Results: Chicken is not my favorite protein but this was GOOD. The lemon, garlic and rosemary are wonderful compliments to the chicken and it was some of the most moist chicken I have had in a long time. I liked the fact that tucking the paste under the skin of each thigh meant that even when I pulled the skin off of them before eating (I was trying to be good!), there was still lots of yummy flavor in the meat. It also plated up beautifully (I think) with the lemon slices and some extra rosemary scattered over the top.

I served the chicken with a green salad and some 'Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash" mixed with fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, capers, feta cheese, parsley and a bit of the leftover rosemary. Delicious! The chicken was a great recipe pick from Stefany. You can check out the other Barefoot Bloggers and see how their chicken turned out here.


  1. Oh, I want to try the Med. spaghetti squash! Sounds great.
    Your chicken looks so yummy, I want some for breakfast.
    Thighs would be perfect with this, so much more moist than breasts.
    Your turn coming up soon, whaddya gonna pick?

  2. Oh, you smart woman. The thighs look juicy and perfectly browned. I'm finding most people don't enjoy carving up their own chickens. I'm curious like Natashya to find out what you'll pick....

  3. The squash sounds great. I'm glad you liked the chicken... it's the preferred meat around our house. I will admit though, that chicken yesterday had me gagging when I was trying to stuff the paste under the skin. Eek! Next time, it'll be chicken breasts. All the way.
    ~The Cat's Pajamas

  4. Yay for using organic! I didn't really follow the recipe either, but it was still delicious!

  5. Natashya and Prudie--Thanks!

    I am going to post the squash later I think--although it wasn't really a recipe, just sort of thrown together.

    As for what I am going to pick--that has to be a secret! I have a choice A & B right now--in case someone selects one of them before I can (I think there are six choices before me if you count the bonus recipes!) Also the new cookbook is coming out but I don't know if I'll have it here before I have to choose--we get things so late here!

    Cat's PJs--yes it was a little gross just doing the quick stuff under the skin of each thigh but I managed! It was good though!

  6. I agree with you on using chicken thighs - my husband won't eat white chicken meat at all because he finds it dry and tough compared to the thighs. Your dish looked pretty as a picture all plated up.

  7. Your chicken looks great- it sounds like we went a similar route. I really don't like grilling much so I usually delegate it (though the results are always yummy!) Your meal looks beautiful plated up, too... I want to see a recipe for that squash! :)

  8. Your pictures are so pretty! I never usually think to buy chicken thighs in the supermarket-they look so good here I may just try.

  9. Great job! I bet the thighs were delicious!

  10. Suzie, Anne, Veronica and Heather--thanks--the thighs were nice and moist! Anne--the squash recipe is coming tomorrow. ;-)

  11. Gotta go with what's on sale! Beautiful job.

  12. The chicken and the pasta both look great! And I'm with you...the gross out factor gets me.

  13. Looks great! I am sure the thighs were good, but I actually found the chicken breasts were very moist! I was a little worried about it. Oh, and yours is plated beautifully!

  14. Rebecca--thanks!

    Webbie--yep--the less touching raw chicken the better.

    Mel--thanks! Good to know the breasts turned out moist too.


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