This whole roasted chimichurri chicken is the perfect recipe for sharing or meal prepping during the week. And, before you say “Roasting a whole chicken is too hard!” I’d like to say that there are few tricks that you can do to make the whole process a hell of a lot easier! Ever heard of ‘spatchcocking’ ??
I feel like people often shy away from roasting whole chickens because of the amount of work that they think needs to go into it…
They think that roasting whole chickens and turkeys are too dry…
And to certain extent.. I agree. I don’t like eating overcooked chicken that tastes like cardboard (yuck.) However, dry brining and spatchcocking your bird will make allllllll the difference!
The most important thing to do is watch your temperatures!
Chicken breasts don’t have a lot of collagen, however thighs and drumsticks have plenty of collagen and connective tissue. Because both cuts have a different composition, it would only make sense that they have different cooking temperatures. Right?!
Temperature benchmarks for chicken breasts:
At 145-150°F – The proteins coagulate and almost all of the liquid is forced out and into protein sheaths. At this point, remove from heat and allow it to rest for about 10 mins.
At 160°F – The proteins rapidly coagulate, and push ALL of the water out of the cells and sheaths. Congrats. Your chicken is dry!
Temperature Benchmarks for Thighs and Drumsticks:
Like I said before, chicken thighs and drumsticks have plenty of collagen and connective tissue, therefore they should be cooked between 165-170°F. Anything below 160°F will render tough, pink and undercooked chicken.
So, what’s the best way to cook two different cuts that require different temperatures while using the same oven?
The answer: Spatchcocking.
Spatchcocking or butterflying is a great technique because it allows the legs to cook up to 170°F just as the breast meat is coming up to 150°F. To do this : Use poultry shears to cut out the backbone, then turn it over and press down on the breastbone. You just spatchcocked a bird. *High-five* ✋??
When you truss a bird, the thighs and legs are tucked underneath the bird protecting them from the heat. Butterflying the chicken exposes the drumsticks and thighs to more heat and allowing them to reach higher temperatures more quickly.
Dry brining your bird works through the process of osmosis. Salt is applied directly on the skin and meat, which at first will draw moisture out of the meat. The salt dissolves in the extracted liquid and is later reabsorbed as the muscle fibers relax. Begin by loosen the skin with you hands and apply about 1tsp of salt per pound of meat all over the body and skin… (Give or take a teaspoon… ) Place the bird on a rack over rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate uncover, overnight. (or 16-24 hours..)
When seasoning poultry, I like to use a lot of fresh herbs and spices.
And chimichurri is one of those sauces that just goes great with everything… and its also a great way to showcase some fresh garden herbs.
With this recipe make sure to season over and underneath the skin! I smother my chickens with PLENTY of chimi.
After throughly seasoning, roast chicken in a hot oven (400°F) for about 45mins to an hour
Once your bird has reached the appropriate temperatures, turn your oven on to broil to finish off the skin. This will only take a few minutes, so keep an eye on it!
In summary, there are 4 simple steps to roasting a whole chicken
- Dry Brine
- Roast it!
That wasn’t too hard right?
Whole Roasted Chimichurri Chicken
- 1 cup Parsley
- 1/2 cup Oregano
- 4-6 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- 4 Tbsp Kosher Salt For Dry Brine
- 3-4 lb Whole chicken
- 2 cloves garlic
Spatchcocking and Dry Brining: Using poultry shears, remove the backbone. Flip the bird over and firmly press down on the breast bone so that the chicken can lay flat. Using approximately 1 tbsp of salt per pound of meat, salt underneath and on top of the skin. Cover and allow to rest in the fridge for 12-24 hours.
Remove bird from the fridge and allow the bird to come to about room temperature. Preheat oven to 400F
Chimichurri Verde Sauce: Finely chop parsley, oregano, and garlic. Combine with olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Generously coat the chicken with chimichurri, making sure to season underneath and on top of the skin
Place chicken on a rack and roast for about 45-1hr. Using an instant-read thermometer check to see that the breast has reached 150F and the thighs have reached 165F.
Remove chicken from oven, cover, and allow to rest 10-15 mins before carving.
Pro Tip : Save the bones! You can use them to make a great chicken stock!
Feel free to comment and let me know if you tried this Chimichurri Chicken! I’d love to hear from you!