Lately we have found that the most economical way to buy quality fresh chicken is to buy the whole bird and break it down ourselves. (By “ourselves”, I mean Rob. He is a whiz with most butchery and given the chance will regale you with tales of bygone summer jobs as a much younger man, in an abattoir. Delightful.) When disassembled, a whole chicken will yield you up to 10 portions of meat, which is great, but if your family is like ours there is a dark v. light debate and a boneless v. bone debate. Not surprisingly, those who much prefer the white meat also prefer boneless. Oh, and skinless, lest a wibbly scrap of skin disturb the dining experience. I joke, but I am not exactly a “nose to tail” eater of meats either and I do definitely appreciate the safe sterility of boneless, skinless, shapeless, no-longer-resembles-a-living-creature meats. What I’m not willing to compromise on is flavour. (Not to get political, but also in a perfect world, all meats would be local, free-run, organic, completely affordable and humanely raised and slaughtered. Until then, let’s all just do our best.) If you are a cooker and consumer of meat, particularly poultry, you will be familiar with how much better the end result of a bone-in, skin-on piece of chicken will taste. You’re also likely familiar with the shortened cooking time and reduced fat of boneless, skinless chicken. So how do you strike a happy medium, and if, like at our house, you have a variety of palates to please?
In a single word: marinade.
Yogurt Marinated Chicken
10 pieces of chicken ( a whole chicken’s worth)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 a cup of plain yogurt
juice of 2 lemons
zest of 1 lemon
leaves from a sprig each of rosemary and thyme
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Marinate in a glass or plastic (non reactive) dish for 1 hour or up to overnight in the refrigerator. Allow to sit at room temperature for 20 mins. before cooking.
Bake at 425° for 35 minutes or until crispy and fully cooked. This also turns out beautifully when barbecued! Enjoy!