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Roast chicken is a classic dish and a firm favourite. Golden brown, inexpensive, moist tender meat and crisp flavoursome skin come together in a great meal for company or simply for family lunch. And the cooking the perfect roast chicken is definitely an achievement.

Roast chicken can be a tricky dish to get perfectly right eat time, with so many tips and suggestions available on how to get an all-around uniform roast while keeping the bird as tender and juicy as possible and of course getting the perfect crisp and salty skin. One of the worst outcomes is dry and tasteless chicken breast that even the best gravy can’t hide!

Let’s explore the reason why this can happen and how best to solve the problem simply.

At above 65°C, breast meat dries out but leg and thigh meat (the brown meat vs. the white meat of the chicken) should be cooked to 80°C as it contains much more connective tissue. So simply you need to find a way so that the breast meat reaches a temperature of 65°C, at the same time the leg meat reaches 80°C.

The best way to do this is to spatchcock or butterfly the chicken. This allows the breast to stay closer to the centre of the pan, where the temp is lower while the legs are on the outer edge.

Why does spatchcock chicken result in a better roast?

It reduces the overall cooking time by about 15 minutes, as flattening the chicken increases the surface area and exposes more of the meat to heat.

It locks in flavour and juices, by allowing the breast and leg meat to reach an optimal temperature at the same time. The skin comes our crisper as all the of the skin is exposed to the top grill.

Tips for roasting your spatchcock chicken
  1. A wire rack in the best to cook your chicken, as it allows an even air flow around it.
  2. Using a meat thermometer will help you stay on top of exactly what your roast is getting up to. You want the breast meat to be at 65°C.
  3. If areas of the bird are browning faster you can cover the spots in foil, to protect it from getting too dark.
  4. Remember to allow the roast chicken to rest for 10 minutes at room temp before serving to keep the juices in the meat, rather than on your serving platter.

You can learn how to spatchcock a chicken yourself and even use the spine to create a delicious homemade stock or jus. Or you can purchase the pre-marinated spatchcock chickens from Food Lover’s Market for the perfect roast, or outdoor Weber chicken.

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