Five years ago if you’d told me I’d want a jerk anywhere near me, I would’ve laughed. But then I learned how to flatten a chicken using this simple method (called spatchcocking), which reduces cooking time and allows any flavors you add (in this case, a jerk rub) to get all over that chicken in a hurry. If you use my oversized cast-iron skillet (shameless plug), you can cook the bird and the potatoes all at once, which makes you the opposite of a jerk.
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ teaspoons sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoons ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 pound baby or fingerling potatoes
- 1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges
- 4 tablespoons canola oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- One small whole (3 pound chicken)
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat a large dry (no oil) cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes. While the skillet is heating, combine the cayenne, thyme, sugar, salt, allspice, pepper, nutmeg, paprika, cloves, and cinnamon in a bowl. Toss the potatoes and onions in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken, breast side down, on a cutting board. Use kitchen shears to cut out the back (save for stock of you want), then skip the chicken and use your hands and some body weight to break the breastbone and flatten the chicken. Rub the chicken with 1 tablespoon of the oil, then sprinkle 3 to 4 tablespoons of the spice blend all over the top of the chicken and rub it in. Flip the chicken and sprinkle another 3 to 4 tablespoons of the spice blend all over the skin and rub it in. Raise the heat under the skillet to medium-high, add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet, then place the chicken, breast side down in the skillet, and cook until the underside is crisp, 4 to 5 minutes.
Use tongs to flip the chicken, add the potatoes and onions around the chicken, transfer to the oven and cook until the potatoes are golden, the onions are caramelized, and the chicken is cooked and the skin is crisped all around, 35 to 40 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the oven, let rest for 5 minutes, then use kitchen shears to cut the chicken right in the pan. Serve the chicken with potatoes, onions, and any pan juices. Garnish with parsley.