Spatchcocked Chicken, Summer Shenanigans, and Sports Bar Pizza

Herb De Provence Spatchcocked Chicken

With the arrival of summer I have found myself at the pool a few weekends in a row. Now as I am one to only get in a pool on the rarest of occasion, the time spent is pure observational. At the start of the summer I, along with a few select neighbors, could be seen lounging about, cattily chatting about the goings on around our building and tossing back a La Croix or two. With summer now in full swing the pool has become a petri dish of high school coming of age movies. Picture a lovely mash up of Heathers and Mean Girls. Everyone in their places with eyes spying over Hawaiian Tropic smudged knock off Ray-Bans.

So naturally my close knit group have situated ourselves on the deep end in a position to watch absolutely everything. From the pretty gay who surrounds himself with a dozen guests buzzing around to the thump thump of his overly clichéd Pandora playlist. To the wall of silent college linebackers not so stealthy checking out the opposite sex. To the family of four who dares to dip their toddlers in a salt water pool full of marinating humans. Occasionally there is a Step Up-like showdown of whose music can be played loudest. While other times you can’t help but hear the daytime drama emerging from a phone call “accidentally” left on speaker phone.

It is usually at this point I gather up my mumu, straw hat, and waddle my way back to my dorm room four floors up.

As yesterday was no different than the Saturday before I bullied my neighbor, Fitness Instructor, into leaving our Wild Kingdom watering hole early to go re-hydrate with beers alfresco. After we solved all of our problems over Small Batch beers we moved on to a new place in town. I’m not going to bother you with the name of this bar because, other than myself, Fitness Instructor, our dear friend Leasing Agent (who was singing at the bar) and the barkeep, we were the only people there. I could be wrong but there may have been a Nathan’s Hot Dog vendor outside but I think he moved down the block to the new strip club. Because hot dogs naturally go with vinyl lounge chairs and sad men. Needless to say I don’t think this bar will be around long.

However I will say I found my Netflix twin in the barkeep. In fact I was pretty sure we were destined to be best friends forever when after discussing the culinary expertise detailed in the show Hannibal, he offered up some of his cold pizza to share. And if anyone really knows me they know that I would bend over backwards naked behind a Nathan’s Hot Dog cart in front of a strip club to have day old cold pizza. Why it isn’t an option on pizzeria menus I will never understand.

Again all of life’s problems were solved over beers. And then I went to bed.

A few weeks into this summer living I have determined that only one day of pool research is good for the health. With that I have vowed to stay in today and catch up on some much needed housekeeping. And by housekeeping I mean roasting a chicken while binge watching Star Trek: The Next Generation.

As much as I want to just sit on the sofa and lick the carcass clean I plan on using this chicken to feed off of for a few days. You know the Jews love a good roast chicken.

Herb De Provence Lemon Roasted Chicken

  • 1 whole 5 lb chicken
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil – divided
  • Coarse Salt and Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoons Herb De Provence
  • 3 Small Lemons – sliced

1. Preheat oven to 425. Start by placing the chicken breast side down on your work surface. Beginning at the thighs remove the back bone using kitchen shears. Discard backbone or save for stock. Flip the chicken over and open like a book. Then press down on the breastbone, firmly to flatten the bird.

2. Rub the chicken with one tablespoon olive oil. Then season with 1 tablespoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of Herb De Provence.

3. Oil the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Layer half of the sliced lemons on the tray and then place the chicken, breast side up, on top of the lemons.

4. Using your fingers gently separate the skin from the meat of the chicken. Then gently place remaining lemon slices under the skin of the chicken.

5. Roast the chicken for 50-60 minutes. Chicken will be done when a thermometer placed in the thickest part of the breast reads 165 degrees.

6. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before carving up.

Until next time.