We know you love them for summer BBQs, but did you know that we prepare them year-round? I’m talking about our brined spatchcock chickens, and I’d love to share a few ways to prepare them all year round.
First, let me explain what makes them so delicious. The butcher team starts by “spatchcocking” or butterflying them. This unusual British word means to cut out the backbone so the chicken is flattened into a single layer. Not only does this make it easier to season and carve, but it cooks more quickly and evenly.
Then they’re soaked overnight in a brine solution of water, sugar and salt. The salt works to plump the meat, guaranteeing juicy, tender breast meat. Sugar gives added flavour and ensures crispy, deeply browned skin. After a good night’s soak, the butcher team seasons them with Vancouver Island’s Triple Smoke Canadian Smoke, a traditional Montreal steak spice type blend, but with a smoky twist.
You don’t want to rinse the chicken before cooking, as you’ll wash away all the seasoning. As both the brine and the spice mix include salt, don’t add more. I guarantee it won’t be too salty. You could use a regular, unseasoned chicken for each of these recipes but promise me you’ll try it at least once with our brined birds.
This recipe is fashioned after France’s poulet rôti, a traditional dish available at many outdoor markets. There, chickens roast to a gold crispness on a rotisserie while underneath, little potatoes baste and cook in the chicken fat and juices dripping from above.
Here, a spatchcocked bird rests on a bed of shredded cabbage, potatoes, and onions, which melt into delicious chicken-juice-soaked morsels. My mouth is watering as I write this.
1 Lepp’s Spatchcock Brined Chicken
2 medium-sized yellow or red potatoes
1 large onion
½ of a small head of cabbage
1 Tbsp. vegetable or olive oil
1 Tbsp. Triple Smoke “Canadian Smoke” seasoning (see note)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut potatoes and onion into 1-inch dice. Remove stem from cabbage and cut in half. Slice cabbage into ½ inch slices. Place all veggies in a round, oven-proof dish with a lip. You want the pan to only be large enough to hold the flattened layer. If the pan is too big, the exposed veggies will burn). Add oil and seasoning and mix together until spices are evenly distributed. Place in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and stir. Lay the chicken on top of the veggies, skin side up.
Return to oven and roast for another 60 minutes, or until internal temperature taken in the thickest part of the thigh measures 165 degrees.
Remove chicken to a cutting board. This may be easier if you carve off the legs first as by now the meat will be so tender it will fall apart. Allow the meat to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Alternatively, you can also season with your favourite BBQ dry rub such as House of Q.
This pan is one of my kitchen workhorses, and perfect for this dish.
I’m new to the air fryer game, and I generally try to avoid jumping on the latest cooking appliance fad as my kitchen shelves are FULL! However, after reading raving reviews, I purchased a Cosori 6 qt fryer. I discovered the basket size is perfect for a spatchcock chicken. I cooked my first chicken for 45 minutes at 380 degrees and was dismayed when I opened it after the cooking time. Due to the sugar in the brine, the skin was black, and I thought I had ruined it. But then I cut into it, and it was so juicy and tender that we inhaled the whole thing. It’s now my favourite way to cook our seasoned spatchcock chickens and also happens to be the easiest.
Remove a Lepp’s Spatchcock, Brined Chicken from the package.
Place chicken skin side up in the air fryer.
Add more Triple Smoke, Canadian Smoke, if you love to season generously.
Set the timer for 45 minutes at 390 degrees.
With a meat thermometer, check the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh to ensure it measures 165 degrees.
Allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before you carve it, giving the juices time to reabsorb back into the meat rather than spilling all over your cutting board.