Roasted Split Chicken with Mustard Crust

From Jaques Pepin:

“I often make this recipe at home when I am in a hurry, because splitting and flattening the chicken and cutting between the joints of the leg and the shoulder reduce the cooking time by half. I use kitchen shears to split the chicken pen at the back and to cut the cooked bird into serving pieces and a knife to cut between the joints.

The mustard crust can be made ahead and even spread on the chicken a day ahead, if you like. I pour the cooked chicken juices into a fat separator with a spout and serve over Fluffy Mashed Potatoes, leaving the fat behind.”

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken (about 3 ½ pounds)
  • 2 Tbsps chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbsps Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsps dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 1 tsp Tabasco hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tsp herbes de Provence
  • ½ tsp salt

Serve With

  • Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

Preparation

  1. Mix all the ingredients (minus bird) in a small bowl.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450°. 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.)
  3. 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 30 minutes. It should be well browned and dark on top.
  4. Let the chicken rest in the skillet at room temperature for a few minutes, then cut it into 8 pieces with clean kitchen shears. Defat the cooking juices. If you like, mound some Fluffy Mashed Potatoes on each of four warm dinner plates and place 2 pieces of chicken on each plate. Pour some juice on the mashed potatoes and chicken and serve.

Serves 4

Check here for bird prep details