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Dinner guest requesting chicken

I am having guest over for dinner next friday before my son's play. I will walk in the door from work at 4 and will need to have dinner on the table by 5:15. Chicken is my least favorite meat to cook for guest. I am in need of a no fail yummy chicken recipe. Thanks!!

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  1. Chicken parmesan can be made ahead of time and isn't overwhelmingly "chicken-y". All you 'll need to do is make some pasta and toss a salad.

    1. Roast a chicken. Have it ready to go in the oven in the morning (stuff with fresh herbs, a lemon cut in half, maybe some onion or shallot). Get home, turn oven on as high as it will go, take chicken out of fridge. At 4:15, put chicken in oven (brush with olive oil or rub with butter if you like), put timer on for 25 minutes. At 4:40, turn oven down to 425 and put timer on for 20 minutes - then check it, may need another five minutes. Remove from oven, let rest ten minutes, serve at 5:15.

      7 Replies
      1. re: MMRuth

        That's a great idea, however I would not pre-stuff the chicken. Put chicken and stuffing in fridge - in separate containers, then when you're ready to cook the chicken stuff and follow MMR's next directions....It might add a few minutes to her time table, but it's safer.

        1. re: Gio

          Interesting - I didn't think of that in terms of the stuffing. I know about not stuffing a bird with stuffing that you are going to eat ahead of time - what's the risk with the herbs/onions/lemons? Thanks!

          To the OP - I would also quickly truss it - I'm finding that the bird does cook more evenly that way.

        2. re: MMRuth

          I was just thinking of the chancey food safety issue with the lemon, et al sitting in the bird all day even tho it's in the fridge. The no-no of pre-stuffing anything is ingrained, I guess....

          1. re: Gio

            Stuffing (like turkey stuffing) is far different than throwing some herbs and a lemon in the cavity. There's no need to be scared of that and we need to be clear on the difference and the reasons why.

            1. re: HaagenDazs

              I agree, the food safety issues of using a bread stuffing are many, but simply adding aromatics to the cavity do not increase any health risks.

              Dense, moist stuffings, heat slowly, are full of things that microbes love, and if they are not cooked to 165 degrees, can be just as dangerous as undercooked chicken.

          2. re: MMRuth

            Jfood agrees with MM on the roasted chocken. And with a 3.5-4# bird bring the oven to 425 and the bird should be ready in 35-40 minutes. MM's 45 is safer but it has never been an issue with 40 at 425 and you may know that jfood is a little conservative in the kitchen.

            If you cut into pieces, also consider making some potato wedges and toss them around the whole or cut up chicken. Then when the fat renders is cooks the potatoes to a glorious finish. May cause a belch or two at the play.

            1. re: jfood

              I agree with the roast chicken. I've been doing a kosher bird lately rubbed with herbs and stuffed with lemon. My favorite thing is the potatoes that cook in the fat. I get yukons or red potatoes, parboil them early in the day, let them dry out a bit, and then toss them in coarse dijon mustard with a glug of olive oil beaten into it. Let the potatoes get beat up a bit. Sprinkle them with coarse salt. I toss those around the bird. I take the bird out when it hits temp and then toss the potatoes again in the drippings and turn on the broiler. YUM. I am not a chicken eater (really) but those potatoes justify fussing with raw poultry for my sweetie.

          3. I have a chicken casserole dish using b/s chicken breasts, stuffing, cream sauce and mushrooms (optional). You can make ahead of time, refrigerate and bake when you get home. There is a gourmet version of this using homemade bechamel sauce, or a quick version using cream of mushroom soup. Let me know if either interests you.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Diane in Bexley

              I would like this recipe, Diane, if you have time to post it. Thanks in advance! mary

            2. I vote for roasting or doing a stuffed chicken breast of some kind. Biba has a nice, simple recipe for pan roasted chicken. Melt two tablespoons butter in a large skillet, add rosemary, crushed garlic and a frying chicken cut into serving pieces (you can also do breasts, just adjust the cooking time). Brown chicken on all sides - S&P. Add 1/2 cup of dry white wine, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or so. Remove chicken to platter, boil remaining sauce until it thickens (add more wine if it is too thick). Spoon over chicken and serve. It's simple and hearty, flavorful and yummy. Serve with a simple risotto (or, if pressed for time, couscous) and a roasted or grilled seasonal vegetable.

              For stuffed chicken, I love either stuffing with mushrooms/garlic/parm or ham/provolone. You can either drizzle some oil, S&P and bake for 20 minutes. Or bread (I like homemade breadcrumbs, parm and almonds) and bake.

              With so little time, chicken is an idea option!

              1. I'm going to go against everyone - if you don't like to serve chicken, then a roast chicken isn't for you! I'd get some chicken thighs, brown them, and then add liquid and cook until they're done. They'll be juicy and delicious, not too chickeny, and fast. You could play with endless variations. Thinking Italian? Use onions, garlic, red peppers, mushrooms, basil, and white whine. Thinking French? How about sherry and mushrooms and cream at the end.

                1 Reply
                1. re: katecm

                  I'd have to agree. Roast chicken is, well, very chicken-y, which doesn't go over well if you're not good on the serving chicken aspect. Jumping on this post, how about something like the Ina Garten's chicken bouillabaise or a quick-ish coq au vin? (I believe both are a touch more time consuming than the OP has time but I can think of a few modifications that would allow them to be made within the time span quoted - but then, with the coq au vin, someone suggested a crock pot below.)

                2. This recipe looks awesome.


                  You could serve it over pasta with marinara sauce, with a big salad on the side.

                  1. 1:15 is not a lot of time. How about a chicken pot pie? Buy a deep dish frozen pie crust - this comes with two crusts, use on for the bottom and one for the top. Preheat oven to 425F and make your filling while it is heating up. Boil a potato. Chop up some carrot, celery, and 3-4 cloves garlic and briefly saute in olive oil with a sprinkle of sage, thyme, and salt. When the onions soften add peas, sliced mushrooms, boiled chopped potato and cubed chicken, and cook until chicken is done. Remove from heat.

                    The oven should be preheated by now so put the bottom crust in there for 5 minutes to crisp it up. If you are really pressed for time you can make your gravy with a can of cream of mushroom soup and 1/2 can of milk, but really it's better if you make a proper white sauce with a butter roux. However you do it, pour your gravy into the skillet with your solid fillings and heat to a simmer, about 3 minutes. Season and adjust thickness to taste. Fill the lower shell and seal the top with the other crust. Brush an egg wash on the top and cut an X-slit in the center. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: RealMenJulienne

                      The filling can even be made the night before.

                    2. Put scrubbed baking potatoes into cold oven. Preheat oven to 400. Flatten skin-on, boneless chicken breast halves (you can do this the day before). Put 1-2 Tbsp of chive/onion or garden vegetable flavored cream cheese on each piece, and roll up, skin side out. Lay seam side down in a shallow baking dish, spaced an inch apart. Lay a slice of bacon (shortened if the breasts are small) lengthwise across the breast, tucking ends slightly underneath. Bake for 45 min or until bacon is crisp, skin golden-brown. The cream cheese runs out a little and combines with the drippings into a delicious sauce.
                      Serve with baked potatoes and a simple vegetable. Hint (courtesy of Martha Stewart): hold baked potato with a potholder and toss it down onto the counter from shoulder height or higher, several times. This loosens the flesh so it is fluffy when the potato is opened.

                      I can't find the recipe clipping binder so I am guesstimating on the time/temp but that would vary according to size of breast anyway; it is a quick, delicious recipe.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: greygarious

                        this is my favorite easy delicious chicken recipe:

                        Chicken Vinaigrette
                        3lbs chicken parts (I have used everything from thighs to breasts bone in or out, bone in will take longer to cook)
                        1 lg onion
                        1 minced garlic clove
                        4 med carrots sliced
                        4 med red potatos cut in 8ths (I often use both sweet & regular)
                        (I often add mushrooms here too)
                        1/2 cup water
                        1tbsp parsley flakes
                        1 tsp basil
                        1/2 tsp chicken boullion powder
                        1/16 tsp thyme (I often increase this)
                        1 small green or red pepper diced
                        2 green onions sliced
                        1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

                        brown chicken in large skillet. remove. add onion & garlic and cook till soft. add next 7 ingredients plus chicken. cover & simmer for 25mins stirring a couple times. add more liquid if needed.
                        add green onions & peppers (I also add zucchini coins at this point), cook another 5-10mins.
                        add vinegar, stir & heat. serve immediately. you could easily do all of the chopping prep ahead of time. I don't skin my potatoes, so if I was to prep ahead, I would leave them in water.


                      2. How about chicken cacciatore? You can make it the night before, reheat when you get home and serve with pasta, garlic bread, caesar or other salad.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Val55

                          i'm with val 100% (can i go 110%?)

                          chicken cacciatore is savory, and would be *better* the next day -- when you are simply reheating it.

                          you won't have to rush to roast a chicken, and you can relax a little bit just making a quick and easy salad, and tossing a garlic bread in the oven.


                          i also think chowser's ideas are right on.

                          just do it (ahead)!

                          1. re: alkapal

                            Yes, and chicken cacciatore is also easy in the crockpot. I'm all for less stress. If I had an hour 15 minutes to get dinner ready, right after work, I'd start stressing about it the second I left work, if there was traffic, if something didn't quite work right, and have everything planned to the minute. I don't follow recipes but my technique with most crock pot cooking is dredge meat w/ seasoned flour, sear, add to crock pot, saute veggies (mire poix) in same pot, add flour, deglaze w/ wine then add stock/tomatoes/etc/spices, simmer until slightly thickened, add to crockpot. Then add other veggies and cook. I found this blog which is exactly how I do chicken cacciatore. I just don't measure and don't use a liner.


                        2. If you have a crockpot, you can do chicken paprikash or coq au vin, as long as you have prep time in the morning. I'd use only thighs because white meat can dry out. I don't follow a recipe but this one sounds similar to what I do, only w/ seasoned flour to dredge the chicken.


                          This way, when you get home, dinner is mostly done, just add a salad and rice or potatoes and you can spend the time tidying up and setting the table, etc. As chicken papriaksh goes, again I don't use a recipe but do something along the lines of this (w/out the artichooke hearts):


                          1. here you go : Chicken Mirabella from Silver Palate. It is one of the easiest and most tasty chicken recipes ever. Prep it the night before (takes minutes) then stick it in the oven as soon as you get home. Elegant, beautiful, and incredible to eat:


                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Tom P


                              When I saw this topic this was going to be my suggestion, but I just knew my standby had to be in here. I serve mine with cous cous and a green veg or salad. It truly is amazing, easy, and very impressive.

                            2. God bless all chowhounds, true food lovers. The recipes here sound great.
                              However, you're pressed for time and you want simple? Here is SIMPLE. And FAST.
                              These are chicken tenders made in five minutes or so in a toaster oven (Eric Ripert recipe on his website aveceric---) and they are FANTASTIC.
                              If there are just the two of you, that'll do it. Have a veg ready, salad ingredients ready, any starch of your choice.
                              I know, I know: this seems TOO simple. But I thought it was fabulous, and have made it again and again for my husband and me.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                I really like this recipe, unfortunately don't have a toaster oven... any suggestions for adapting to a standard gas oven?

                                1. re: ideabaker

                                  I've thought about this, i.b., becuz the toaster oven will only hold enough for 2 people, so if I wanted to make it for more, I'd need the oven alternative. I think trying it would be the only way to find it if it worked the same in the larger space. Preheating would be essential, I think--- And snatching it out the instant it was cooked. If you try it and it works, I'd love to hear.

                              2. This gets my vote - it is so easy, can be prepared ahead of time uncooked and just poped in the oven when you get home. It is delicious with a good loaf of bread to sop up the juices and you can make an easy side of most anything to go with - rice, couscous, mashed, etc...


                                28 Replies
                                1. re: geminigirl

                                  OMG, this was fantastic - made it tonight. I have never used marjoram herb. I ca'nt wait to make this again, I love thighs and thinking I'll add them next time too. the huge chix breasts were soooooo juicy and tender, this sauce was amazing. Done in 35 min.., and prep time was nothing. I put it over couscous because I ran out of time (wanted to do a nice brown rice) but it was perfect and soaked up the juices.

                                  Thank you Thank you thank you geminigirl!!!!!

                                  1. re: lexpatti

                                    your welcome! I think I originally found this recipie from another chicken post on here.

                                    I'm so glad you liked it, I make it all the time and have done it with thighs too which are really good.

                                    1. re: geminigirl

                                      that sauce with the tomatoes is soooo fantastic, have you tried pouring it over some pasta - yummmm! My kitchen smelled so frigin awesome from this dish. I'm actually going to try it with a pork loin too - bet that would be very nice. I should leave awesome enough alone, it truely was absolutely one of the best chicken dishes ever!!!

                                      1. re: lexpatti

                                        I agree, whoever thought something so simple could be soo good! I always save what is left of all the sauce and add to other dishes, pasta, rice, etc...

                                        The past two summers I have had a ton of cherry tomatoes from the garden - way to many to eat so I freeze them and have used in this dish with success as well.

                                            1. re: geminigirl

                                              just made this recipe, with dried marjoram. It turned out great, sooooo easy, I would add more spice next time, it was far from 'spicey'. definitely a keeper of a recipe, add to the rotation. :)

                                              1. re: cleopatra999

                                                I use extra crushed peppers, definately gave it a really nice zip.

                                  2. re: geminigirl

                                    I Wonder how this would work with boneless skinless chicken breasts? I suspect it would be less time for cooking?

                                    1. re: cleopatra999

                                      35 minutes in a 450 degree oven would likely dry out boneless skinless breasts. Perhaps roasting the tomatoes/herbs alone, then searing the chicken breasts on the stovetop and adding them for the last 10 minutes of oven cooking would be appropriate. But then you'd get a roasting pan and a sautee pan dirty. Hmm.

                                      1. re: cleopatra999

                                        I made this chix dish again today, huge pan of 5 breasts, 3 thighs and added boneless breasts (cut in half) midway through the roasting process (for those people that don't like bone in) - worked out awesome, sooooo tender. I did up the time about 10 min. due to the very crowded roasting pan. Everyone loved it

                                        Thanks again gemini, I really love this recipe. Haven't been doing much with chicken these days but this, I love.

                                        1. re: lexpatti

                                          Funny, I have made it twice recently once with chicken breasts, the other with drumsticks, prefer it with the breasts. It is absolutely a favorite, the organic grape tomatoes are on sale right now, I may make it again this week. It is so easy, and I love it served over brown rice. I say thank you too!

                                          1. re: cleopatra999

                                            so glad you guys are enjoying it! I think it's on my menu for later this week as well! I'm thinking of adding some potatoes that really need cooking...

                                            1. re: geminigirl

                                              Can I use dried marjoram for this recipe? I can't seem to find the fresh at the supermarket. Do I cut the amount down? Is it just as good or should I choose another recipe?

                                              1. re: lnyc

                                                I have been using dry, cut the amount down though. it seems to work fine. I saw the fresh at the italian market, I am going to try it next time, see if it is even better. I read that you can sub oregano or basil for marjoram too.

                                      2. re: geminigirl

                                        geminigirl, I made the recipe last night, couldn't find fresh marjoram so used dried, and it was so "deceptively easy" that I doubted myself and threw in a half cup of chicken broth. It was still a hit! (Though I might put a bit less of the spicy chile flakes next time for my "spice challenged" friends)! The grape tomatoes I used burst as they roasted and created an incredible sauce. I forgot to have bread for sopping up the juices, so tortillas were the stand in. This is absolutely going to be one of my new "go to" dishes! Thanks for posting!

                                        p.s., like lexpatti I'd never used marjoram. Actually found some fresh in the market today and picked up for round two later this week :-).

                                        1. re: ideabaker

                                          So glad you liked it! So far it's one of those meals you don't get sick of! I am making it tonight and going to add some small red potatoes and see how they fare...

                                          PS - be interested to see what you think of the fresh marjoram, I have only used the dry as well. Thanks

                                          1. re: geminigirl

                                            I don't get a sauce at all, it becomes quite gooey, burnt residue in the pan, while the tomatos are still intact (so to speak). Maybe cooking it too long??

                                            1. re: cleopatra999

                                              Major juices on mine, two q's - Are you using in bone-in breasts? and 450 degrees in the oven? Bone in is where all those juices come from (I believe). Last time I added a bit of freshed squeezed lemon juice and loved it too.

                                              I'm a fish and seafood lover and am going to try this with shrimp, scallops, fish etc. wonder if anyone has branched out into the seafood world with this.

                                              1. re: lexpatti

                                                yes and yes. my chicken breasts are HUGE with the back attached, so they actually take about 45mins. I never measure the oil, maybe I am using far less.

                                                don't get me wrong, it is still delicious, just no juicy, chicken however is super juicy.

                                              2. re: cleopatra999

                                                Maybe I had a broth because I threw in that extra half cup to cup of chicken broth. Delectable... perhaps try that next time?

                                              3. re: geminigirl

                                                I bet the potatoes will do great, they will soak up the juices and exude the flavor! Let us know how they turned out!

                                                1. re: ideabaker

                                                  The potatoes were really good, I put a lot of kosher salt on them and they crusted up nicely! I was a bit worried they would get soggy sitting in the juices but they were fine.

                                                  Also, I used frozen cherry tomatoes and my sauce was a bit too watery for my tastes. next time I will either go back to fresh or thaw the tomatoes first so they are less watery.

                                                  This time served it with nan which was a good sopper upper:)

                                                  1. re: geminigirl

                                                    Mmmm... mmm.. good! I see the Nan and never buy it because I tend to shy away from a lot of the more "stewy" Indian dishes (like to see exactly what I'm eating...) Did you tuck the potatoes between the meat as the recipe suggested? Did you coat them in salt along with the olive oil? This is an A+ quick and impressive dinner, so want to get it right!

                                                    1. re: ideabaker

                                                      I dumped chicken and tomatoes in pan as recipie says, then added the whole potatoes to the bowl the tomatoes were mixed in so I could pick up all the leftover oila nd spices, added a bit more oil to swish them around in then put them in the pan anywhere they could fit (but directly onto the pan not on top of anything). Then sprinkled them liberally with salt as did the rest of the dish. The potatoes were good, but I think my preference is rice - sops up the jucies better imho....but the potatoes needed to be cooked soon or they were headed for the compost heap:)

                                                      1. re: geminigirl

                                                        Tonight I did the same recipe over parpadelle- thin , flat , wide ribbons of pasta, which soaked up the sauce wonderfully ; am beginning to think that this is a perfect recipe... again, thank you geminigirl!

                                                    2. re: geminigirl

                                                      geminigirl; I cooked this again last night with a few differences... 1)used bone-in thighs and drumsticks with skin on them 2) slid a sliver of garlic and a sprig of marjoram (fresh instead of dried and over the top and with the tomatoes) under the skins. and 3) reduced the crushed red pepper by a third for my heat-sensitive friends. I served it with multigrain nan, and while my guests loved it I was irritated that the chicken, IMO had very little flavor and the broth was missing that spice! I'm thinking of adding a bit more crushed pepper next time and a lot more marjoram. Also I would not used chicken with skin next time, I think the fat in the skin diluted a lot of the flavor. And forget about heat sensitivity, I'm adding a bit more spice next time. Thanks for the nan tip, I got four huge pieces and they were all eaten between three people (I didn't even get any!). Next time will get more.

                                                      And again, thanks for an awesome recipe!

                                                  2. re: geminigirl

                                                    I think I will need to use a bit more of the fresh marjoram to get the same effect, but will have to wrestle myself down from changing an original recipe (I always veer off a bit). So next time will try to stic,k to the original recipe (except thighs for breasts... and maybe the broth for added gravy... sorry, I need the moistness and extra flavor!).

                                                    As a sidenote, marjoram is the first on my list of herbs to grow in my garden next spring!

                                              4. Roasting on a bed of quickly chopped/sliced and oiled veggies and stuffed with citrus (10 seconds) is the easiest.

                                                Otherwise poach and shred breasts a day or two ahead of time and use in one of 1,000,000 ways.

                                                1. I would just pound out some boneless breasts a bit, bread them the usual way ending with Panko, saute in olive oil and finish with fresh lemon and either caramelized onions, capers, or whatever floats your boat.

                                                  As the side, perhaps roast some fresh asparagus, green beans, or whatever fresh veg. looks good in the oven tossed in olive oil, s&p. Add some fresh bread and there ya go.

                                                  1. I love Ina Garten's Indonesian Ginger Chicken. You prepare it the night before and all you have to do is cook it when you get home. While it's in the oven, make some rice, or even couscous, and a vegetable (I like some kind of peas). This chicken in delicious and definitely no-fail!


                                                    1. Chicken ala Grande is what you want to make.
                                                      It tastes even better the next day, so all you would have to do is warm it up!
                                                      Add Pasta Bordelaise and an Italian Salad and you are all set.
                                                      Asparagus or haricots verts would make a good veg as well as carrots.

                                                      I'll dig up the recipe & post.

                                                      1. I hit post reply too soon!

                                                        Edit to Chicken Grande - Salt & Pepper Chicken before putting in marinade.

                                                        Here's the Pasta Bordelaise that goes with the Chicken a la Grande.

                                                        Pasta Bordelaise

                                                        1 pack pasta cooked
                                                        1 cup butter
                                                        5-6 green onions
                                                        1 cup white wine
                                                        fresh minced garlic
                                                        Fresh cracked pepper
                                                        Freshly Grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese (I like Romano)

                                                        Saute onions til beginning to caramelize
                                                        Add wine and deglaze, then toss in parsley and garlic

                                                        Add cooked pasta to pan & toss quickly & gently.
                                                        Transfer to serving bowl.

                                                        This is a typical New Orleans family style meal that is usually served with Italian Salad.

                                                        1. Sorry, edits never come out right here.

                                                          I forgot to say serve this dish with all the pan juices and lots of warmed french bread.

                                                          1. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas. I am going to try the Spicy Roast Chicken with Tomatoes and Marjoram with garlic mashed potatoes and oven roasted green beans. Thanks to geminigirl for the link!

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: vlynx4

                                                              Good luck, hope you like it as much as we do, let us know what you think!

                                                              1. re: geminigirl

                                                                I'm doing this tonight, will let you know vlynx4.

                                                              2. re: vlynx4

                                                                I agree, that looks fantastic and will make myself real soon. Thanks Geminigirl! Next time - another nice non-chickeny easy dish is bacon wrapped chicken under the broiler on skewers. (wrap the night before) I love the flavor of the smoky bacon that encompasses chucks of boneless chicken. Lay this on a bed of couscous or rice or potatoes with roasted vegies. done!

                                                              3. Sweet and Crunchy Mustard Chicken is no-fail, quick, and delicious. You can prepare it ahead of time and pop it in the oven when you get home. Cooks for 25 min. I posted the recipe some time back and it got good reviews from other hounds. You can find it at this link: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/392784

                                                                Serve with rice and roasted asparagus.

                                                                1. Here's an easy, quick, tasty suggestion. Get thin-sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Coat them in a flour/egg/panko breading. Saute in a mix of vegetable oil and butter. Serve with lemon wedges, cranberry sauce and a green veg.

                                                                  The breading can be done ahead of time. Refrigerate the cutlets until you're ready to cook them. By the way, kids love this, too.

                                                                  1. I too would vote for a simple roast chicken, but I would suggest butterflying it and roasting it on a rack or on your broiler pan. A butterflied bird will cook much faster, the skin gets nice and crispy all over, and as an added bonus is far easier to cut up and serve.

                                                                    I butterfly my chickens using my kitchen shears, simply cut out the back bone and then split the breast bone. I season both sides - (Herbs de Provence or Fine Herbs are personal favorites) and lay my aromatics under the chicken, Lemon, onion, garlic, celery, etc. Chicken cooks fast, has great flavor, lots of crispy skin and is easy to carve... what could be better.

                                                                    Add a simple starch and a salad and you are done. Oven roasted potatoes, Orzo with garlic, butter, and parsley, Rice pilaf, mashed spuds, any would work.

                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                    1. re: gardencub

                                                                      why do you feel butterflied cooks quicker than whole unstuffed?

                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                        i'd venture that a spatchcocked chicken cooks faster because more surface area is exposed at one time (versus turning over the chick, as a regular roast chicken), and there is also contact heat from the pan underneath the whole chicken laid out.

                                                                        plus, i heard it somewhere (steve raichlen?) ;-)

                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                          Not to beat a dead horse, but the surface area (internal and external) should be the same and jfood does not turn the whole bird as he uses a vertical roaster. He would also guess that the temperature of the pan it sits on cannot get hotter than the temperature of the oven (but he is not a chemist or kinetic engineer).

                                                                          In any event his 40 minutes at 425 seems to sork nicely with whole or pieces.

                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                            Jfood, butterflying does work to cook a bird faster. I've done it with 2-pound chickens and 20-pound turkeys and it always reduces the cooking time by 40-50%. True, the pan cannot get hotter than the air inside the oven but it is much more efficient at conducting heat into the bird. Think about the difference between touching a 100-degree car hood versus 100-degree still air.

                                                                            Gardencub, I like your recipe. Like you said, a great part of butterflying is how the roasted chicken separates neatly into breasts, legs, and thighs when done.

                                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                                              A butterflied chicken, turket, duck, etc does cook faster because more of the food is in direct contact with the pan, therefore more conduction occurs. Also, the heat only has to penetrate the bird a few inches. A whole bird, stuffed or not keeps the bird in a denser mass, taking longer to cook.

                                                                              I am sure there is a more elegantly phrased explanation but this answer worked on the tests in culinary school, so I keep repeating it.

                                                                              1. re: gardencub


                                                                                understand the b-fly versus stuffed, but how about b-fly versus unstuffed? same surface area exposed to heat, whether conduction or convection.

                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                  Metal pans conduct heat faster and feel hotter than air that is the same temp. You can put your hand into a 400 degree oven to check on a roast without burning it, but you could not put your hand on the pan that was sitting in a 400 degree oven without burning yourself badly. Air is a far less efficient medium by which to transfer heat. The butterflied chicken or turkey cooks faster than the whole bird because it is in contact with more of the pan, therefore allowing for quicker transfer of heat.

                                                                                  A whole bird set into a pan would have far less of its surface in contact with the heat. While an unstuffed bird cooks faster than a stuffed bird, the cavity does not warm up to the oven temp quickly. The cavity is surrounded by cool flesh and bone and only slowly reaches oven temp.

                                                                                  Perhaps we need to run a test. cooking two chickens, of the same weight, seasoned the same in both methods, one butterflied, the other left whole, and chart how fast it cooks and the results.


                                                                                  1. re: gardencub


                                                                                    Thanks. That's what jfood was looking for. the pan will get hotter than the oven temp so the conduction > convection for heat transfer.

                                                                                    Deep Sigh.

                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                      the pan isn't "hotter" per se, but metal conducts the heat better than air, as i said initially ("contact heat from the pan underneath the whole chicken laid out"), but in a clearly less elegant and descriptive way than garden cub.

                                                                                      the spatchcocked chick on a grill will similarly benefit from the conductive heat of the grill grate itself, and that is why i am so loathe to get rid of my ancient grill with cast iron grates. jasper white agrees the split chicken will grill more quickly: http://www.theheartofnewengland.com/f...
                                                                                      others, too: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/spatch.htm (split chick grills faster than beer can chicken

                                                                                      the "chicken test" will be fun.

                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                        Thanks A.

                                                                                        Here is a different contra-approach on the grill versus the oven. Jfood has a weber with front middle back elements. He turns the front and back on and leaves the middle off. Then he cranks as high as he can get.

                                                                                        He then places the chicken pieces horizontally over the "off" middle element and closes the hood. Sets the timer fro 25 minutes and goes on Chowhound.

                                                                                        Buzzer goes off. When he lifts the hood there is mahogony colored chicken and the interior is about 165 inside. Perfectly moist inside with crispy skin.

                                                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                                                          dang, you're making me hungry! that skin is what makes it sublime!!!

                                                                      2. Frankly, w/those time constraints, I wouldn't cook. I'd get good takeout somewhere. Why make yourself crazy on a night when you have other stuff going on?

                                                                        1. This recipe fits into your time frame perfectly and is amazingly good. Don't be put off by its simplicity.


                                                                          1. How was the play? And your dinner?

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: lexpatti

                                                                              We had the Spicy Roast Chicken with Tomatoes and Marjoram. Very delish! The play was wonderful, ,my son did an outstanding job. Thanks for all the replies, I have several new chicken recipes that I will be trying in the future. Thanks!!

                                                                              1. re: vlynx4

                                                                                Glad the night went well! Your post served me well too, lots of new chicken options to try.

                                                                                1. re: geminigirl

                                                                                  Yes, thank you both for this! I rarely cook chicken (not enough flavor), but geminigirl's and other's recipes have helped me decide to try out others!

                                                                            2. I know the OP doesn't need it, but another great chicken dish that can be prepped almost entirely beforehand (and then marinated overnight) is mojito chicken. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                              That, or chicken marbella is what I usually do (or, in extreme cases, get a rotisserie chicken to go and make some sides at home).