Have I mentioned yet how much I love to cook with cast iron? Cast iron is a beautiful thing—the evenness of the temperature, the telltale char. I love spatchcock chicken almost as much as I love cast-iron cooking, because by laying the bird out, you get consistent surface contact and that GBD (golden, brown, delicious) skin in fewer than 20 minutes. I would rather serve spatchcock chicken than fried chicken—less work, fewer carbs and fats, and all goodness.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Wipe a 10- to 12-inch cast-iron skillet with olive oil.
- Wash and pat dry the whole chicken inside and out. Place the chicken on a cutting board breast side down with the neck area facing away from you. Using a sharp and strong pair of kitchen shears, cut from the tail to the neck on one side of the backbone then repeat on the other side until the backbone is easy to remove.
- Lay the chicken out flat and rub the salt and vegetable-pepper seasoning blend generously on the inside of the chicken, then scatter half of the rosemary, sage, and oregano over the inside. Flip over the chicken, breast side up, and rub the skin with 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil. Follow with the remaining salt, pepper, and herbs.
- In a large bowl, toss together the sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, onion, and garlic with the remaining coconut oil. Place the vegetables in a single layer in the cast-iron skillet, then set the flattened chicken evenly across the top of the vegetables.
- Place the chicken in the oven and roast for 20 minutes or until the thick portion of the chicken registers 165°F and the vegetables are fork-tender. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the juices to redistribute before serving.
Excerpted from Bress ‘n’ Nyam: Gullah Geechee Recipes from a Sixth-Generation Farmer. Copyright © 2021 CheFarmer Matthew Raiford and Amy Paige Condon. Photography © 2021 by Siobhán Egan. Reproduced by permission of The Countryman Press, a Division of W.W. Norton & Company. All rights reserved.