As we’ve mentioned in past posts, we partnered up with Wusthof Canada almost a year ago for a brand ambassador program, to create images of their wonderful knives in food settings. We’ve had such a blast working with them!
We can honestly say that Wusthof Canada is a lot more than exceptional knives… it’s also great people. If you’re in the market to invest in an amazing set of knives, I highly recommend Wusthof. Their products are a “cut” above the rest and they’re used by home cooks and high-end chefs around the world. Over 200 years of experience earns you respect 🙂
The right knife for the right job!
For this recipe, we decided to butterfly the chicken. This is the process of flattening the chicken, which helps the chicken cook evenly throughout. If you’ve never butterflied a chicken because you thought you couldn’t, I’m here to say that it’s easier than you might think. I was pleasantly surprised at just how quick and easy it was. For this job, I recommend using kitchen shears or a sharp boning knife like the one we used, from Wusthof. The recipe below will show you some key steps for butterflying a chicken.
Easy enough for a weeknight. Yes, really!
Besides tasting great, there’s a bonus… it’s easy to prep and fast to cook. It took me about 15 minutes to prep the chicken while my cast iron pan was heating up in the oven, then the chicken cooked in 50 minutes. This timing worked out well for me, but if you want to make things even faster and flavour the chicken for longer, I recommend you butterfly the chicken, add the rub, then place the chicken flat in a sealed freezer bag and leave it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it the next day. You’ll be all set to go the next day and the flavour will be even better because you’ve let the chicken sit in spices longer. I did this all in one shot this time, and the flavour was still amazing.
While the chicken’s in the oven, you can prepare a quick salad, maybe some rice or steamed veggies. Lots of sides pair well with roast chicken. Our teenager will sometimes prepare a salad with his own homemade salad dressing, but since he was busy studying for exams, today we enjoyed this with a tomato rice. It’s all good!
Slowing down at the end of the day…
Like a lot of people, I’m constantly looking for tasty recipes that don’t take long to make. Weeknights are especially busy for our family, but we try to make it a point to sit down to dinner as a family and catch up on how everyone’s day went. To do so over a delicious home-cooked meal is even sweeter. It’s a nice way to slow things down after the work/school day. Don’t get me wrong… we order out sometimes, and we enjoy dinning out too, but it makes me really happy to serve homemade meals to my family. It just feels right.
Keep searching for easy, quick recipes for your weeknight meals, and always eat well, friends!
Weeknight Butterflied Chicken on Cast Iron
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 whole chicken (1.465 kg or 3.23 lbs)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about half a lemon)
- Preheat the oven to 400 ºF.
- Place the pan in the oven for around 15 minutes (while you prep. the chicken and rub).
- In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Set aside.
- Take the chicken out of the fridge and remove all packaging, string and extra fat.
- Place the chicken on a cutting board breast-side-down and legs towards you. Find the top of the backbone and place the knife on the right of the bone. Start cutting along the backbone.
- Cut down along the back bone all the way to the end.
- Place the knife back at the top of the backbone on the left side, and cut along the bone towards the bottom.
- Cut all the way down until the back bone is cut completely off the chicken.
- Poke the tip of the knife through the breast bone.
- Hold both sides of the chicken with your hands, thumbs on the inside. Fold the chicken back a little until the breast bone pops open. The chicken will now be very flexible in the middle.
- Place the chicken on the cutting board, breast down. Rub the inside of the chicken evenly with half of the lemon butter rub.
- Flip the chicken over and use the rest of the rub on the breast side of the chicken. Make sure to get all the nooks and crannies. Tuck the wings under the chicken.
- Add the vegetable oil to the cast iron (12 inch or larger) pan and brush the bottom and sides with the oil, using a crumpled up paper towel. Caution, the pan is extremely hot! Make sure you don't touch the pan directly with your skin.
- Place the chick on the pan (carefully...it's hot!), breast side up.
- Place the pan in the oven on the middle shelf and roast for 45-50 minutes.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the doneness. Poke the thermometer through the thickest part of the thigh or breast meat without touching the bone. The temperature should be between 165 ºF and 170 ºF.
- Take the chicken out of the oven, cut into pieces and place the pieces on a serving dish. Note, you can spoon a little bit of the drippings onto the chicken for extra flavour. Not too much though... this is pretty much straight fat. Enjoy with your favourite sides!