- One fresh lemon
- Za'atar Mix (toasted sesame seeds and sumac) seasoning
- Smoked Paprika seasoning
- Trader Joe's South African Smoke seasoning blend
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 stick butter
- 4 lb chicken, butterflied
Butterfly the chicken (see video below).
Brine chicken overnight. To make brine, pour a gallon of warm water into a container that is twice the volume of the water. Add 3/4 cup kosher salt and mix thoroughly till dissolved, then allow the brine to cool to room temperature. Add chicken and refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight.
Make sure your chicken is very dry by using a fan and paper towels. Pat dry and put chicken on baking sheet with a fitted rack, under a fan on the counter for about 1-2 hours. Continue till the skin is super dry. This is the key to crispy skin and allows the chicken to come to room temperature before cooking. (Do not skip this step!)
Season liberally the underside of the butterflied chicken with seasonings.
Add about 1 cup of water to the baking sheet to prevent smoking. Roast chicken skin down in a 450 F degree oven for 15 minutes.
While roasting, melt a stick of butter, being careful not to let it burn. Add all seasonings liberally, mixing throughout. Set some of the mixture aside for topping pita.
Take the chicken out of the oven, carefully turn over, and carefully dry skin thoroughly with a paper towel. Baste all sides with butter mixture. Put back in the oven skin side up for 15 more minutes.
After the 15 minutes, take the chicken out of the oven, and check the chicken's temperature with a meat thermometer. If under 160 F degrees, baste again and put back in the oven, checking regularly until chicken reaches 160 F degrees.
Once the chicken has reached 160 F degrees, remove from the oven and let the chicken rest until it reaches 165 F degrees. Slice and serve with lemon wedges.
For the Naan or Pita
You'll need: Naan or Pita, and some of the butter mixture (see above).
Reserve some of the butter mixture before using on the chicken. Spread onto the naan or pita as desired. Salt and pepper to taste. Toast in the oven till warm and crispy, about 3-5 minutes.
For the Asparagus
You'll need: Fresh asparagus, olive oil, garlic, and sliced onion. Salt & Pepper to taste.
Snap off bottoms of asparagus where it breaks naturally; throw bottom parts away. Toss asparagus with olive oil, garlic, and sliced onion in a baking pan coating thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste. Roast in a 375 F degree oven for about 30 minutes or until asparagus looks slightly charred.
You'll need: 3 large tomatoes, 2 cucumbers, 1 carrot. Optional 1/8 onion. 3 TBSP olive oil, 1/3 cup white distilled vinegar. Salt & Pepper to taste.
Dice tomatoes and cucumbers. Thinly chop carrots. Thinly slice onions. Mix all together thoroughly in olive oil and vinegar. Add salt & pepper to taste. Let set for at least 20 minutes. Serve at room temperature.
Recipe inspired by one of Andrew's favorite chefs, Alton Brown.