Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Cook with Jamie, this is an ideal supper for friends and family. We like to double the recipe so that there are leftovers for weekday lunch or this healthy twist on pot pie.
Several sprigs of fresh marjoram or oregano, leaves picked
Juice of 1 lemon
Good olive oil
1 farm-fresh, free range, or organic chicken, about 3 1/2 lbs.
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2-2 lbs. fingerling or new potatoes, well scrubbed
Heaping Tbls. butter, unsalted
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed of the woody bottoms
1 1/2 c. Greek yogurt
a handful of fresh, soft, fragrant herb leaves (mint, parsley, or tarragon make good choices)
Spatchcock the chicken: using a pair of kitchen or poultry shears, cut out the backbone of the bird so that you can open it up and press it flat. Here is a good video to show you how.
In a shallow bowl or glass pan, mix together the marjoram or oregano, the juice from one lemon, and a “glug” of olive oil. Rub this mixture all over the bird, both sides, and leave the chicken to marinate breast side down, for at least 30 minutes and no more than a couple of hours in the fridge. If you let it marinate for longer, the lemon juice will “cook” the meat for you.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a large cast-iron pan, season the chicken with salt and pepper and place, skin side down, in the pan. Sear for about 4 minutes (the chicken should start to crisp), then turn the bird over, add a whole lemon to pan, and then put the pan and bird into the preheated oven.
While the chicken is cooking, place potatoes in a saucepan of cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender. Drain. Place potatoes back in pan with butter, a squeeze of lemon, and season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.
The chicken should take about 45-55 minutes to cook, depending on size. To test if it’s ready, simply take a gentle tug on the leg. If it pulls away easily it’s done; if not, pop back in the oven for 10 more minutes. Remove from oven, set whole lemon aside and place chicken on serving platter to rest for 5 minutes, before cutting into serving pieces.
Pour excess fat out of pan and put asparagus into it. Cook on high for about 3 1/2 minutes, until tender. When they’re done, toss them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Pile them onto the chicken platter along with the potatoes. Scatter your soft herbs on top.
Halve the roasted lemon and, in a separate small serving bowl, mix the juice with the yogurt. Serve this delicious dinner and enjoy!