Famed Whitehouse chef, Andre Rush doesn’t mess about, and when it comes to chicken, he’s top of the pecking order!
Chef Rush’s skillfully seasoned chicken dish will not disappoint for any occasion. Packed full of protein and bursting with aromatic flavor, this dish gets our vote every time.
You don’t mess with perfection so think minimal ingredients and a handy hack to lessen cooking time too.
Because the bird is flattened, the cooking time is cut almost in half whilst ensuring that the bird cooks evenly. With a whole bird, the breast meat often dries out before the dark meat is done, but by flattening the chicken, the legs and thighs (dark meat) will be more exposed to the heat and cook in the same time as the breast.
This method ensures the skin gets nice and crispy. Since the whole bird is equally exposed to heat, every inch of its skin will evenly brown and develop that crave-worthy crispiness.
Chicken (3 to 4lbs)
1- Cut along the side of the backbone and place the whole chicken on a cutting board with the breast-side down. Locate the backbone along the center of the chicken. Starting at the tail (or pope’s nose), use a sharp pair of kitchen shears to cut alongside the spine. Try to cut as close as you can to the backbone, so you don’t risk cutting any other joints. You may feel a little resistance as you cut through certain rib bones of the bird-in this case, press down on the shears with both hands.
2- Remove backbone and rotate chicken 180° so that the uncut side is closer to your dominant hand. Cut along the bone again and remove the backbone from the chicken.
3- Flatten. Back to the bird: Flip it over so that the breast side is facing upward. With two hands (and a little bit of hulk-strength), press down firmly on the center of the bird until you hear a crack. This is the wishbone breaking! Voila. Your bird is successfully spatchcocked.
4- Rub the chicken with olive oil and add the thyme, garlic, and pepper (salt optional).
5- Let’s grill! Place the chicken skin-side down over direct heat. Cover and let cook for 10-15 minutes. Take a peek. The bird should look nicely charred. However, keep a careful eye on the grill. Any fat that drips from the bird can cause the fire to flare-up. Next, turn the chicken over (skin-side up) and move it over to indirect heat. Grill for about 30 minutes longer.
6- Check for doneness. Use a thermometer to tell if the chicken is ready. The thigh should read between 170-175°F.
7- Using a pair of long-handled tongs, carefully remove the bird from the grill. Be sure not to pierce the skin or you’ll lose the bird’s tender juiciness.
8- Let the bird rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. The chicken needs to sit in order for the juices to lock into the meat. Don’t fret: even after 10 minutes, it’ll still be plenty warm enough to serve!
Fishing for a seafood-inspired dish? There’s a Chef Rush-approved recipe to placate your pescatarian palate too with The Whitehouse Chef Andre Rush’s Salmon for Life Recipe: For Perfect Grilled Salmon Every Time.