My husband and I love honey mustard. When given the opportunity, we will slather it on just about anything and everything. So it should be no surprise that it’s the centerpiece of one of our favorite go-to meals. I tend to keep at least a pint of honey mustard vinaigrette or some honey mustard butter in the freezer around for all of my honey mustard needs. For this chicken dish, I added one minced garlic clove, some chopped thyme, and equal parts honey and mustard to one stick of room temperature butter, but the possibilities for herb butter are endless.
Herb butters are a beautiful way of preserving and utilizing what you have on hand. You can add in any citrus zest, spice or herb into your butter and store it by rolling in either in parchment or plastic wrap. It should keep in your freezer for a long time, but I’m sure it won’t last that long.
You can use this butter for just about anything; it’s a nice compliment to any veggie or protein. You can slice off medallions to place on top of just about anything that comes off your grill, it will melt into a beautiful, flavorful sauce. I decided that I was going to use my honey mustard butter on a nice roasted chicken. One of my favorite methods for roasting is by first spatchcocking the chicken, which is just a fun word for fabricating the chicken so it lays flat and therefore cooks more evenly.
To spatchcock, feel along the back of the chicken to locate the backbone and cut along either side of the spine.
You can save the spine and make stock with it or even roast it along with your chicken. This process may or may not interest your cat, who always likes to lend a paw in the kitchen when there is chicken involved.
Lay your chicken on its back and tuck the wings behind themselves so they don’t burn. Place your herb butter in between the skin and the flesh of the chicken and season generously with maldon salt and pepper.
Bake in a 425 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes and reduce the heat to 375 degrees for the last 15-20 minutes of cooking. Periodically baste your chicken throughout the cooking process. You’ll know you’re done when the leg quarters are tender enough to separate with a gentle pull and the juices run clear.
You’re left with an amazingly flavorful chicken that makes a fantastic meal and great leftovers. A perfectly cooked chicken is the mark of a good cook. It’s simple, but roasting a chicken requires a little finesse, patience and practice. Chef Quincy Bissic even uses a Bundt pan to roast his chicken. Play around with flavor combinations that you like in your own herb butter, and keep a few on hand at all times, you never know when it can inspire you to create something delicious!
For more chicken-know how, don't miss The Chopping Block's upcoming Chicken 101 hands-on cooking class next week at Lincoln Square.