Dry Brined Spatchcock Chicken Au Jus is possibly the best roast chicken that you will ever eat! It’s tender, moist and incredibly flavorful. What’s even better is that it only takes 45 minutes to cook.
Spatchcocking is a cooking technique whereby the backbone and sometimes the breastbone is cut out of the chicken allowing it to be flattened or butterflied. It results in a perfectly roasted chicken with crispy skin. The reason is that spatchcocking allows the legs to be exposed to more heat so that they’re done at the same time as the breast. Also, more skin is exposed to the heat resulting in the crispy skin.
Ingredients for Dry Brined Spatchcock Chicken:
I used the following ingredients for the Spatchcock Chicken: Whole chicken, Kosher salt, baking powder, olive oil, and freshly ground black pepper.
Dry Brining the Spatchcock Chicken:
You’ve likely brined chicken or turkey before in a salted water solution. While this works well, dry brining is even better because it doesn’t soak the skin and plump the meat with water. The result is crispier skin and better tasting chicken! For more information about dry brining versus wet brining, check out Serious Eats.
To start, I lined a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and placed a wire rack on the baking sheet. Then, I cut both sides of the chicken’s backbone with kitchen shears, removed it and cut it into 1-inch pieces. Next, I removed the breastbone so that the chicken would lie flat. I placed the chicken, skin side up on the wire rack, and tucked in its wings. Finally, I patted the chicken dry with paper towels. I kept the backbone and breastbone to make the au jus!
After that, I made the dry brine by mixing together Kosher salt and baking powder. You may think that baking powder is an odd ingredient for the dry brine. However, the baking powder promotes even browning.
I liberally sprinkled the salt/baking powder all over the skin-side of the chicken, making sure that I had covered all of the skin surface. That’s it – the chicken was ready to go into the refrigerator!
Cooking the Spatchcock Chicken:
I prepped the spatchcock chicken in the morning before going to work. After about 10 hours when it was time to cook the chicken, I preheated the oven to 450° F. Then, I removed I removed the chicken from the refrigerator, drizzled on some olive oil, and sprinkled it with some freshly ground black pepper.
I put the chicken in the oven when it reached temperature. After about 45 minutes, the breast had reached 150° F and the thighs had reached 170° F. The chicken was perfectly done! I removed it from the oven and covered it with aluminum foil for about 15 minutes.
Making the Au Jus for the Spatchcock Chicken
While the chicken was roasting, I made the Au Jus using the following ingredients: Olive oil, chicken backbone pieces and breastbone, onion, celery, carrots, vermouth, water, soy sauce, butter, and lemon juice.
First, I browned the backbone and breastbone in some olive oil in a small saucepan over medium high heat until browned, about three minutes. Then, I added some chopped onion, celery, and carrots, and continued cooking for another three minutes or so. I deglazed the pan with some vermouth, and added some water. I reduced the heat to medium low, and cooked the mixture for 30 minutes. After that, I strained out the solids and returned the liquid to the pan. I boiled the liquid over medium high until it had reduced to about 1/3 cup. This took seven or eight minutes. Finally, I removed the pan from the heat, whisked in the soy sauce, butter, and lemon juice, and seasoned to taste with salt and pepper.
The result was the very best roast chicken that I have ever had. It was juicy, incredibly tender, and perfectly cooked. The Au Jus added a special touch! Yum!
- 4 to 5 pound whole chicken
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium onion chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 medium carrot peeled and chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 stalk of celery chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 cup dry vermouth
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
Using sharp kitchen shears, remove the backbone from the chicken. Cut backbone into several 1-inch pieces and set aside. With a boning knife, remove the breastbone; set aside. Flatten the chicken by placing skin-side up and applying pressure. Transfer skin-side up to a wire rack set in a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Tuck the wings. Pat dry with paper towels.
Combine Kosher salt and baking powder in a small bowl. Sprinkle skin-side of chicken liberally with salt/baking powder. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 450° F. Remove chicken from refrigerator; do not rinse. Drizzle skin-side of chicken with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Roast chicken until thickest part of breast registers 150°F on an instant-read thermometer and joint between thighs and body registers at least 175°F, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven; tent with aluminum foil for 15 minutes.
While chicken is roasting, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan over high heat until shimmering. Add chicken backbone and breastbone and cook, stirring frequently, until well browned, about 3 minutes. Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Deglaze with vermouth and 1 cup water, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Reduce heat to maintain simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Strain out solids and return liquid to pan. Boil over medium-high heat until approximately 1/3 cup remains, about 7 minutes. Whisk in soy sauce, butter, and lemon juice off heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Yield: 4 to 6 servings.