We have enjoyed many different styles of chicken dishes throughout our travels. Tuscany is known for its cooking and use of fresh ingredients, so we decided to create a Tuscan style chicken for dinner recently. Butterflying the chicken, technically called spatchcocked, is a great way to reduce the cooking time and still giving a crispy skin. Also, making an herb butter and spreading it underneath the skin and directly on the meat will also make sure that the chicken is moist and tender. We also sautéed some green beans with bacon to have with the chicken, which complimented the chicken extremely well. We decided to cook the chicken in a cast-iron skillet in the oven, but it works equally well on the grill. It truly was a wonderful meal.
- 1 Whole Chicken – spatchcocked
- 8 tbsp Unsalted Butter – softened
- 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary – chopped
- 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme – stems removed
- 1 clove Roasted Garlic – minced (unroasted garlic is fine)
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- 1 lb Green Beans – trimmed
- 4 slices Bacon – cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
To spatchcock the chicken, take a sharp knife or scissors and remove the backbone of the chicken by cutting down either side of the spine. Then flip the chicken over so that the interior is exposed and remove the breastbone by sliding the knife between the bone and the meat. This will allow the chicken to lay flat inside of the skillet. In a bowl, combine the butter, rosemary, thyme, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Using your fingers, separate the skin from the meat and spread about two-thirds of the butter over the breast meat. Spread the final third of butter over the exterior of the skin. Place the chicken in a cast-iron skillet and roast in an oven heated to 500 degrees. Cook the chicken for 30 to 40 minutes or until an internal thermometer reads 165 degrees. While the chicken is cooking, place the green beans in boiling water for about two to three minutes to blanch them and then immediately place them in ice water to shock them and cool them down. Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest for about 15 minutes while the beans are finishing. Heat the vegetable oil to medium-high heat in a skillet and add the green beans, bacon, seasoning the beans with salt and pepper. Sauté for about 10 minutes or until the bacon is crispy. Carve the chicken and serve with the green beans and bacon.