After visiting 10 cities in the last 3 months, it's been countless trips to the airport, and lots of missed or late night meals, I wasn’t truly aware of how much I needed a home cooked meal. That is until I got just enough time at home to make a classic roast chicken. The roast chicken is so simultaneously humble yet perfect when done right that I never get tired of it. I’ll sear it in cast iron for a quick meal, slow roast it for a Sunday dinner, or slather it with spices for something easy like this Smoked Paprika and Oregano Spatchcock Chicken.
(about 2 tablespoons)
sliced into 1-inch rings
finely chopped plus more leaves for garnish
Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Remove necks and any innards from the cavities and discard. To spatchcock, use a sharp pair of poultry shears or kitchen scissors to cut along the backbone; remove and discard. Place chicken, breast-side up, and press down to flatten it so it is lying completely flat.
Combine 1 tablespoon of the oil, lime juice, soy, paprika, cumin, oregano, garlic and 3 teaspoons of the salt in a bowl and mix until thoroughly moistened. Rub half the mixture under the skin of the chicken getting under the breasts, thighs, and legs. Then rub 1 tablespoon of oil all over the skin on the outside.
Heat oven to 450°F and arrange rack in the middle. In a medium bowl toss the onions and potatoes with the remaining paste, remaining oil, and remaining salt. Set aside while oven heats up, at least 20 minutes. (Alternatively, cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before roasting. Be sure to let the chicken rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before roasting so it cooks evenly.)
Arrange onions and potatoes in the bottom of a a roasting pan or large baking dish. Place chicken on top, and roast until the thigh meat is no longer pink and an instant read thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165°F, about 50 minutes. Let sit at least 10 minutes before carving. Garnish chicken with a few additional oregano leaves, and serve with onions, potatoes, and a spoonful of the pan juices.
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Photography by Christopher Kalima