Recipe: Roasted Split Chicken with Mustard Crust

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I often make this recipe at home when I am in a hurry, because splitting and flattening the chicken and cutting between the joints of the leg and the shoulder reduce the cooking time by half. I use kitchen shears to split the chicken open at the back and to cut the cooked bird into serving pieces and a knife to cut between the joints.

The mustard crust can be made ahead and even spread on the chicken a day ahead, if you like. I pour the cooked chicken juices into a fat separator with a spout and serve over Fluffy Mashed Potatoes, leaving the fat behind.

4 servings

Mustard Crust

For the crust: Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut alongside the backbone of the chicken to split it open. Spread and press on the chicken with your hands to flatten it. Using a sharp paring knife, cut halfway through both sides of the joints connecting the thighs and drumsticks and cut through the joints of the shoulder under the wings as well. (This will help the heat penetrate these joints and accelerate the cooking process.)

Put the chicken skin side down on a cutting board and spread it with about half the mustard mixture. Place the chicken flat in a large skillet, mustard side down. Spread the remaining mustard on the skin side of the chicken. Cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, then place the skillet in the oven and cook the chicken for about 30 minutes. It should be well browned and dark on top.

Let the chicken rest in the skillet at room temperature for a few minutes, then cut it into 8 pieces with clean kitchen shears. Defat the cooking juices. If you like, mound some Fluffy Mashed Potatoes on each of four warm dinner plates and place 2 pieces of chicken on each plate. Pour some juice on the mashed potatoes and chicken and serve.

Episode 204: Simple Sweet Notes

Jacques cuts the cooking time of a whole chicken in half with a pair of shears and a few slashes of his knife in this flavorful Roasted Split Chicken with Mustard Crust. Fluffy Mashed Potatoes make the perfect side dish. Pizza is made quicker and easier when you use a ready-made base, and Jacques personalizes it with an unusual twist when he crisps lavash to make Smoked Salmon Pizza garnished with capers, onion, and cilantro. He concludes with a no-frills concoction of Greek Yogurt, Walnuts, and Honey -- arguably one of his fastest desserts.

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Minute Recipe: Beet, Stilton, Apple, and Nut Salad

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This classic salad makes an elegant and tasty first course for a dinner or a great lunch main dish. I simplify the preparation by using sliced canned beets.

Drain the juice from a 1-pound can of sliced beets. Divide the slices among four plates, allotting 4 or 5 slices per plate. Mix together in a bowl 3/4 cup coarsely chopped white mushrooms, about 1 cup peeled and coarsely chopped apple, 1/2 cup broken walnut pieces, and 1/2 cup crumbled Stilton cheese. Add 3 tablespoons mayonnaise and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and mix well. Spoon a good dollop of the mixture into the middle of the sliced beets on the plates and sprinkle on 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh chives. Serve.

4 servings