Spatchcocked Chicken with Garlic, Rosemary and Orange

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4 generous servings
Adapted recipe from the ever-inspirational Mark Bittman.

Tip: Spatchcocking a chicken is an uncomplicated process that also saves cooking time…plus, it’s a fun cooking term! How can you NOT try it? 😃

1 whole fresh chicken (about 4-5 lbs)
4-6 cloves fresh garlic
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
2 large fresh rosemary sprigs
2 Tbsp good-quality olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 medium navel orange
1/4 cup oil-cured olives (for garnish)

Peel and mash the garlic cloves with the salt to create a paste.
Remove rosemary leaves from stems and mince to provide about 2 Tbsp.
Mix garlic and salt with rosemary and olive oil.
Cut orange in half horizontally.
Pit and chop oil-cured olives.

Pat chicken with paper towels to be sure it is very dry; lay the chicken breast-side down on a cutting board. With a heavy, sharp chef’s knife or sturdy kitchen shears, cut along one side of the backbone, then the other. Discard the backbone or preferably, use for stock. Turn the chicken over and press down firmly to pop the breastbone and flatten the chicken. Season the chicken all over with the garlic/rosemary paste, then grind a light dusting of black pepper over the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

Prepare outdoor grill for indirect cooking and preheat to 375-400 degrees F.
Note: We cook on a charcoal grill. Adapt as needed for your grill or roast in a 400 degree oven indoors.

Using indirect method, grill chicken skin-side down for 20-25 minutes. Flip to skin-side up and continue cooking for about 30-35 minutes or until internal temperature is 165 F in the thickest part of the thigh meat.

Place grilled chicken on a platter and cover with foil to rest for about 10 minutes. While chicken is resting, grill orange halves, cut-side down, to char the flesh.

Garnish chicken with chopped olives and squeeze the juice of charred oranges over the meat. Enjoy with roasted root vegetables.

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