Butterflied Chicken – Poulet Crapaudine

 

What I like most about making this butterflied chicken from David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen, the project at Cook the Book Fridays this week, is the ease of serving it. He calls it chicken lady chicken. The recipe can be found here.

I chose a small organic chicken of about 2 1/2 lb, got even smaller after removing the back bone and cooking the bird. It yielded two servings. Three may be a stretch, especially if this was the only main course. I served it with a romaine salad for a weekday dinner.

Cutting up a small and flattened bird is as easy as carving a piece of steak once the backbone has been removed. Cooking and serving a chicken whole has a lot of appeal: it’s economical, flavorful and wholesome. (The backbone and the innards went into the stockpot to make the chicken stock.) Besides it looks great on the plate. The smell wafting through the kitchen evoked the comfort of home and hearth when the chicken was cooking.

Considered the price and convenience of picking up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery or big-box store, like Costco, you wonder why you’d bother to make one at home. But if you have the time and inclination to cook your own, one bite of this chicken would convince you that its taste and flavor is a world away from anything that comes from a plastic container. This chicken dish didn’t feel like an everyday meal. It’s almost company worthy, as long as you can convince your guests that having chicken at your house is a treat! Leave it to the chicken, it can be very persuasive with all the talking points. It was moist but not briny, muscular but not tough, and the flavor was deep that it didn’t need help from salt or pepper. Even the white meat tasted as good as the dark meat. That’s the ultimate proof of its worthiness to have a place on your dinner table.

Quick Tips:

  • Get a small organic chicken weighting less than 3 lb. (The smaller bird provides the right amount of skin to meat ratio that keeps the skin crispy and the meat tender and moist. The longer the chickens spend their time pecking and strutting around outside before they see the inside of the slaughter house, the better they taste.) Remove the backbone and press the chicken down to spread it out until it lies flat.
  • Marinate the chicken with a mixture of garlic, salt, olive oil, lemon juice, white wine, soy sauce, harissa, Dijon mustard and honey. Loosen the skin from the breast and thigh meat, and add the marinade under the skin. Let it rest in the fridge for 1 to 2 days.
  • Twice cook method: sear both sides of the chicken over medium-high heat in a cast-iron skillet on the stovetop. Look for a light brown color, never mind the clock. Transfer it, skin side up, to a 400°F oven to finish cooking. The chicken is ready when the internal temperature of the thigh reaches 152°F.

 

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Mardi Michels
    June 17, 2016 at 10:50 am

    You did a great job with this. it's my favourite "homemade fast food" 🙂

  • Reply
    Emily
    June 17, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Now that is a scrumptious meal!

  • Reply
    Emily
    June 17, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Reply
    Ei
    June 17, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Looks perfect!

  • Reply
    Nana
    June 17, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    We often get a rotisserie chicken from Costco but not anymore. This recipe definitely has a wonderful flavor just from the marinade.
    Yours look perfect, and the next time I will find an organic bird that is small.

  • Reply
    Nicole
    June 18, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Nice picture… Yours looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Nicole
    June 18, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Nice picture… Yours looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Mary Hirsch
    June 18, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Mardi is right. You did a great job with this recipe and post write-up. I should have looked harder for a 3-pounder. I am sure if I'd gone to Whole Foods, I could have found it. I spent 45-minutes trying to figure out the difference between butterflied and spatchcocked. After reading several explanations and articles, the bottom line is there really isn't a difference. Your tips were good ones, especially #1 and #3. Again, a really, really well-written and considered post, Shirley.

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    June 18, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Nana, the smaller bird here definitely makes it much easier to work this recipe.

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    June 18, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    I have better luck finding small organic chickens at the local farmers' market. I did not see anything I like at the Whole Foods nearby. Thanks for clarifying the difference between butterflied and spatchcocked. Now I know.

  • Reply
    KB from Prof Who Cooks
    June 18, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    I'm so jealous you found a <3 lb chicken! Mine was about 5 lbs. I agree about the whole white meat tasting as good as dark meat thing. Neat recipe and yours looks beautiful!!

  • Reply
    Teresa
    June 18, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Yours looks just gorgeous! I so agree with you about big box store chickens – they're cheap, but they don't compare to something like this.

  • Reply
    Betsy
    June 20, 2016 at 1:45 am

    You seem to be the only one who didn't have problems with the skin. My chicken came from the local farmer's market. So delicious! Happy chickens taste better.

  • Reply
    kitchen flavours
    June 20, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Your chicken looks fantastic! Agree with you, this is really delicious!

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    June 20, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    There was one spot on the chicken, on the thigh, with some broken skin. The moment I noticed that it was charred and sticking, I turned the chicken over. I also have this trusty heavy-duty cast-iron skillet, shown in the picture, that I use more often than any. It cooks everything evenly and beautifully with very few sticking issues.

  • Reply
    lisa brown
    June 21, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Looks beautiful!! I agree, no more store bought for me (unless it is last minute 😉

  • Reply
    dulceshome.com
    June 25, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Your chicken looks beautiful! I tried (twice!) David's suggestion of the grill.. Not so much. I agree about the size. My 2nd attempt was a smaller organic chicken. It is delicious, though more planning required than I usually have time for. BTW, I'd be delighted (!) to have chicken for dinner at your house – what a beautiful meal.

  • Reply
    Karen @ From Scratch
    July 2, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    I wish I could have found a smaller chicken to use; they are always so big! Yours looks great!

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