My absolute favorite meal is simple, roast chicken. I could have it every night… And there are some weeks when I come pretty close to doing just that. To make things faster and easier on me, I quickly embraced the concept of a spatchcocked chicken – which is a fancy word for butterflied chicken. This simple trick is a major game-changer. Simply flattening out the chicken dramatically reduces the cooking time, which makes chicken perfect for sheet pan meals.
Now, most major supermarkets have spatchcocked chickens prepared and ready to go. When I saw a Trader Joe’s Spatchcocked Lemon Rosemary Chicken, I knew that I just had to try it in the Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven! The oven is designed with a low profile, which is perfect for sheet pan meals, and a spatchcocked chicken fits beautifully. I just want to make a few additions for a complete meal.
First, I used a sheet of parchment paper to help with the cleanup. Normally, I would use my favorite disposable, aluminum foil tray liners, but they don’t use the full 12.5″ x 12.5″ cooking area of the Superheated Steam Countertop Oven, and I needed all of the space for vegetables.
Then I prepared some mushrooms, cloves of garlic, pearl onions, and vine tomatoes. A little salt, a little pepper, and a spritz of olive oil are all you need. Since I know that I will be serving the jus from the pan, I slipped a pat of butter in the tray to add to the “sauciness.” I arranged everything nicely around the pan and took a step back to review my flavors and colors.
Lemon, Rosemary and chicken flavors were already coming to the party. Garlic will go well with that. The tomatoes and onions will work with everything so far. The mushrooms may pick up a little flavor, but they give out more moisture than they absorb… plus they will darken the jus with lovely rich brown tones. All of these vegetables are somewhat small, and not very dense, so I know that they will all be properly cooked. If I had made this before, or if I were more confident in the cooking time, I may have added baby carrots or tiny potatoes, but I didn’t want to risk them not cooking before the chicken is done.
The important question is, “When will the chicken be done?”
I’ve had salmonella. Not fun. I can’t recommend it. So I need to know, for certain, that this chicken is cooked. Also, I hate overcooked chicken. So I find myself “between a rock and an emergency room.” The truth is, I never know when the chicken is done… but my thermometer does! We’ve talked about this before, but the topic is raw chicken, so I need to take it more seriously. I’m using a wireless, leave-in probe thermometer to protect myself and my family. Once the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165°F, everything is fine.
As I normally do, I set the Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven to 485°F and set the timer for 60 minutes. I’m going to remove the chicken from the oven when the internal thermometer tells me to, but I don’t know how long that is going to take, so I set it for an hour and I will cancel any remaining time afterward.
Modern cooking thermometers like this one are capable of calculating the carry-over-cooking and the required resting time. This means that I can confidently remove the chicken from the oven, and place it on the counter as is slowly cruises to a safe, 165°F without overcooking. As it turns out, the total cooking + resting time was just over 44 minutes.
One of the nicest qualities of a spatchcock chicken is how EASY it is to carve. I arranged all of the vegetables around the platter and placed it on top of my oven to keep warm while I worked on the jus.
“Worked” is a bit aggrandizing. I drained all of the juices into a bowl and whisked it together as I would a salad dressing. I tested for flavor and oddly, surprisingly, it needed a bit of salt. It also benefitted from a tiny kick of red pepper flakes. I whisked it up again and served them in individual containers.
If you’re not serving Chicken Cacciatore, Chicken Parmesan, or Coq au Vin, you are drinking white wine or Beaujolais Nouveau. Here a simple Pinot Grigio will do a bit better than a chardonnay. A firm and mature Zinfandel would work better than a light Rose.
Overall, I thought it was wonderful. Coming home from Trader Joe’s and basically dropping this chicken on a tray and into the Superheated Steam Countertop Oven was amazingly convenient and more than a little liberating! I am tempted to try other brands, but I think I prefer a plain chicken where I can control the seasonings completely. Overall, this experience has really opened my eyes to all the possibilities for more chicken dishes in less time using the superheated steam oven.
Roasted Spatchcock Chicken
- 1 package Butterflied or Spatchcocked Chicken
- 6 whole Cherry tomatoes on the vine
- 1 basket Cremini Mushrooms Cleaned, quartered
- 8 cloves Garlic
- 1 pat Butter
- Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper
- Unwrap the chicken according to the instructions on the package and place it on the Broiler Tray on parchment paper.
- Clean the vegetables and toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place all the vegetables around the chicken. Add the pat of butter to the tray so that it melts and cooks with the chicken.
- Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken. Set it for 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- When done, carve the chicken and transfer to a platter with all of the vegetables.
- Transfer the cooking jus to a bowl and whisk. Adjust the seasonings and serve alongside the chicken.