Tuscan Chicken with Green Beans and Bacon

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.

Softened Butter with Herbs


  • 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
Green Beans and Bacon


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.

Roasted Chicken
Spatchcocking (Butterflying) the Chicken
Chicken Lays Flat for Even Cooking
Herbs and Butter
The Finished Dinner
Look at How the Herbs Melt Into the Chicken Breast

Rack of Lamb

Lamb is one those ingredients that is quite common around the world and can be used in a variety of dishes. Rack of lamb makes for an elegant presentation and is very tasty if cooked properly. One of the keys to cooking a successful lamb is to make sure that you don’t undercook or overcook the meat. Having an instant-read thermometer handy is a key to making sure that you cook the lamb to a medium temperature with a pink interior. Lamb can also be a little gamey, so using a flavorful rub is a way to make the flavor a little more mild. We really enjoyed this as a wonderful weekend dinner.


  •  Rack of Lamb – frenched
  •  3/4 tbsp Kosher Salt
  •  1 tbsp Dried Rosemary
  •  2 cloves Roasted Garlic (or 1 clove Garlic)
  •  1/8 cup Dijon Mustard
  •  1/8 cup Stone Ground Mustard
  •  1/2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  •  2 tbsp Olive Oil

Cooked Rack of Lamb


In a small food processor, combine the salt, rosemary, garlic, Dijon mustard, ground mustard, balsamic vinegar and pulse to form a thick paste. Preheat an oven to 450 degrees. Rub the fat-side of the lamb with the mustard and herb paste, spreading it evenly across the lamb. Let the lamb sit at room temperature with the rub for about 30 minutes. Place the lamb in a cast-iron skillet or roasting pat with the olive oil, bone-side down, and cook until the internal temperature reaches about 135 to 140 degrees. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut into either double chops (2 bones per chop) or single chops and serve.

Herb and Mustard Paste

Season the Lamb with the Rub

Lamb Chops


Vertical Roasted Chicken

One of our favorite meals this time of year is to have roasted chicken with roasted vegetables. Using a can to stand the chicken upright is a great way to get the chicken to roast evenly on all sides and the can helps the inside of the chicken cook more evenly as well. We used our tajine as the base to put all of the vegetables, allowing the drippings from the chicken to coat the vegetables, which makes them even more favorable. It is certainly the type of meal that can be found almost anywhere that you travel as there are so many different ways that chicken and vegetables can be roasted together. You can choose whatever type of root vegetables are in season, but be sure to keep them all about the same size.

Vertical Chicken with Roasted Vegetables


  • 1 whole Roasting Chicken
  • 10 small Red Potatoes
  • 14 Baby Carrots – multicolored
  • 12 Brussel Sprouts
  • 1/2 Red Onion – cut into chunks
  • 4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Dried Rosemary – roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp Dried Thyme
  • 2 tsp Powdered Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Vegetables in the Tajine


Coat the vegetables with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, salt and pepper, and place them in the base to the tajine (or a shallow baking dish). Coat all sides of the chicken with the remaining olive oil, garlic powder, rosemary, thyme, and salt and pepper. Place a can that is large enough to support the chicken, and that has been washed and dried, inside of the chicken cavity, placing the closed side of the can towards the top of the chicken. Put the can with the chicken in the center of the tajine, surrounding it with the vegetables. Place the chicken and vegetables into the lower rack of an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees and roast for 15 minutes per pound. Remove from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes. Carve the chicken and serve with the roasted vegetables.

Seasoned Chicken

Finished Plate