It’s no secret I adore Jonathan Waxman and Barbuto (check out another of my fav Barbuto recipes here). Chef Waxman’s signature dish JW chicken, as in Jonathan Waxman chicken, takes simple roasted chicken and adds a super flavorful kick. As with all of his recipes, this one focuses on fresh ingredients, and this is the time to pay up for a good quality chicken. Roasted in high heat, the skin crisps up while the flesh remains juicy, and the salsa verde sauce makes the whole thing into a dish fit for a dinner party.
One key to roasting the chicken quickly is to butterfly or spatchcock it so it lies flat in the pan. This is a fancy way of saying to remove the backbone, which is easier than it sounds when using kitchen shears. It allows the chicken to lay flat, which speeds up the cooking quite a bit. If you’re new to roasting chicken, don’t be shy. There’s a special sense of accomplishment you gain from roasting a whole chicken; it’s just so tasty when done right.
The salsa verde recipe will make more than you really need for the chicken, and be sure to hold onto it to add to steak, as a dipping sauce for bread and to stir into tomato soup. And you can tailor it to whatever greens and herbs you have on hand – just don’t skip the anchovy paste! Full of flavor, you won’t taste a fishy flavor in the finished sauce; what remains is a wonderful depth of flavor that tastes ideal melting over a freshly roasted piece of chicken.
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped arugula
- 1/4 cup chopped basil
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 2 tablespoons chopped sage
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 4-5 pound free range chicken
- Olive oil
- 1 lemon
- Make the salsa verde by combining garlic, capers, and anchovy paste. Mash together using a mortar and pestle or food processor until well combined.
- In a medium bowl, add chopped herbs to paste, and stir in olive oil. Salt to taste and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels and, using kitchen shears, cut out the backbone. Discard or save for stock. Cut out the breastbone so you end up with two halves. Remove any excess fat and discard.
- Season halves with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Place skin-side up in a large oven-proof pan.
- Cut lemon in half and place cut sides down in the pan with the chicken.
- Roast chicken until cooked through, about 35 minutes, basting with pan juices every 10 minutes.
- To serve, remove from pan and slice chicken into pieces. Slice roasted lemon into 4 pieces. Serve chicken topped generously with salsa verde and roasted lemon.