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Are you ready for some of the most tender and juicy chicken you’ve ever tasted??? 

Sure, everyone says that about their chicken recipes, right? 

But with this salt-brined whole chicken, you just can’t go wrong. The raw chicken is spatchcocked (split open so the entire chicken is flattened out) and covered in a mixture of salt and baking pow- der for at least 24 hours and up to three days. The chicken is then washed, dried, and sprinkled with olive oil and spices, just like a regular roasted chicken—but so much better. The inside of the chicken stays incredibly juicy and the skin gets super crispy. Not a dry slice around! 


1. What is a dry brine? 

Dry brining, also known as pre-salting, improves the chicken’s ability to retain moisture. The salt breaks down the muscle proteins in your chicken (this can also be done with turkey) through a 1-3 day process. If you try to dry brine for less than 24 hours, the chicken proteins will not break down correctly, so listen to the rules! When you salt the chicken, the juices are initially drawn out of the meat and as the salt dissolves into the juices, a concentrated brine is formed which breaks down the muscle protein. Then the juices get absorbed through the loosened muscle fibers right back into the chicken. 

2. Why dry brine instead of wet brine? The advantage of dry brining is that the protein has a richer flavor because it hasn’t been diluted by the water in the wet brine. Plus, a wet brine takes up tons of space and you need a huge container to fit the chicken. With a dry brine, you only need a 9x13-inch pan.

3. Why add baking powder to the salt brine? 

The baking powder crisps up the chicken skin as it bakes in the oven. Hello, salty, crispy chicken skin!! 

4. But aren’t kosher chickens already salted? Won’t the chicken be too salty after it’s dry-brined? 

When kosher chickens are kashered, they are salted for only one hour and then the salt is washed off. With only one hour in the salt, the chicken proteins do not get a chance to break down. 

5. Why spatchcock the chicken? 

By splitting the backbone of the chicken and flattening it out, the chicken will cook quickly and evenly in the oven and all of the skin will get crunchy.

Now that you know why, I am going to show you how.  See these step by step instructions on how to spatchcock (butterfly) your chicken. 

Spatchcocked Step 1

1. Place the whole chicken breast- side down on a clean cutting board, with the legs towards you. 

Spatchcock Chicken Step 3

2. Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut up along each side of the chicken’s backbone to remove it completely. 

Spatchcocked Step 2

3. Turn over the chicken and press down on the breastbone with the heel of your hand until you hear a crack and the chicken is all one thickness. You can also use a kitchen scissor to cut the wishbone. 

Spatchocked Chicken


Article published in JOY of KOSHER with Jamie Geller FALL 2015. Subscribe Now.

Fall 2015 Magazine

Fall 2015 Magazine

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