Jacques Pépin’s Roasted Split Chicken with Mustard Crust
Watching Jacques Pépin butterfly a chicken with a pair of kitchen shears was a revelation to me. Coming from a master of technique the shear method of butchering is indeed technically awesome. This is a recipe that eases cooking time and the processing of butchering the bird. The result is a beautifully browned and juicy pan roasted chicken that will knock your socks and shoes off.
I battled a chicken last night with a pair of kitchen shears last night and won. Think of this process as simply de-turding the chicken, cutting the backbone out of the bird, and then making small cuts under the joints of the drumsticks and wings. I used a Foster Farm’s natural chicken weighing about 5 pounds for this recipe.
– Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I used Louisiana hot sauce)
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon salt
-Combine ingredients in a small metal bowl and whisk together.
– Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut alongside the backbone of the chicken to split it open. Spread and press on the chicken with your hands to flatten it. Using a sharp paring knife, cut halfway through both sides of the joints connecting the thighs and drumsticks and cut through the joints of the shoulder under the wings as well. (This will help the heat penetrate these joints and accelerate the cooking process.)
– Put the chicken skin side down on a cutting board and spread it with about half the mustard mixture. Place the chicken flat in a large skillet, mustard side down.
– Spread the remaining mustard on the skin side of the chicken. Cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, then place the skillet in the oven and cook the chicken for about 35 – 40 minutes. It should be well browned and dark on top.
I added small rounded red potatoes to my iron skillet when I put my bird in the oven putting a little olive oil and salt on top. They cooked beautifully in the chicken fat and drippings of the mustard crust and were a perfect side. Don’t be afraid to use the drippings from the roast to make a delicious pan sauce for your dish.
Make sure you let the chicken rest in the skillet at room temperature for a few minutes before cutting it into pieces with your kitchen shears or a carving knife. I served my roasted chicken with the little awesome pan roasted red potatoes and a green side salad with a nice shallot balsamic vinaigrette. Happy cooking!