- 1 whole chicken (3-4 lb.), backbone removed, butterflied
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
- Combine garlic, cilantro, one teaspoon salt, lemon zest and saffron in a mortar with pestle.
- Smash to a paste.
- Add 3 tablespoons olive oil and stir to combine.
- Rub chicken all over with paste, including between skin and breast meat.
- Place on tray or platter, skin side up and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours.
- Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before roasting.
- Preheat oven to 450 F.
- Mix one teaspoon salt, paprika, cumin, black pepper and cayenne together in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle over all sides of chicken.
- Heat one tablespoon olive oil in oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat.
- Place chicken, skin-side down, in skillet.
- Place brick wrapped in foil (or heavy pan or Dutch-oven) over chicken.
- Cook chicken over medium-high heat without moving brick or chicken, 10 minutes.
- Rotate skillet occasionally, to ensure even cooking.
- Remove from heat.
- Using a spatula, turn over chicken, skin-side up.
- Place in oven (without brick) and continue cooking until done, 20-30 minutes, depending on size of chicken.
- Let rest 10 minutes before carving into serving pieces.
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