Spatchcocked Chicken Salad “Tucci”

  • Prep Time
    2 hours
  • Cook Time
    1 hour
  • Serving
  • View

I was having a Tucci movie marathon this past weekend while I spatchcocked and roasted this little chicken.  The picture below is from Big Night (1996) which Tucci starred in and also directed with Campbell Scott (son of George C. Scott).  It’s a must see for foodies, even if you don’t love Stanley Tucci (but who doesn’t?)  The movie is about two brothers trying to make a go of their restaurant and planning a lavish meal for the arrival of Louis Prima.  Everything about this movie was mouth watering, and the cast was amazing:  Tony Shalhoub, Isabella Rosselini, Minnie Driver, Allison Janney, Liev Schreiber and Marc Anthony.  After the movie, I watched Tucci host a couple episodes of Vine Talk (streaming on Amazon) where he sits around a table drinking wine with celebrities and talking about it.  That was fun, too.  Clearly, the man loves to eat and drink.


I’ve yet to watch Tucci’s 2021 CNN six episode special called Searching for Italy, but I’m sure it will have the same effect on me as watching Anthony Bourdain eat his way around the world.  In other words, my heart goes pitter patter.  Aside from Big Night, the Tucci movies I focused on this weekend were A Private War, Some Velvet Morning, and Conspiracy.  I strongly recommend A Private War.  Some Velvet Morning has an O. Henry ending that made me feel gipped.  And Conspiracy sent a chill up my spine that had nothing to do with this cold January weather.

Parenthetically, the chicken I was roasting when I could stop looking at Stanley Tucci is from a place called Joyce Farms and it has a VERY chicken-y taste.  I really liked it, and I love the fact that you can have six small chickens (perfect for one person) shipped to you frozen and shrink wrapped.  The taste of this chicken is so much better than the bland flabby chicken I find at most grocery stores.  If you haven’t already, check out some of the great meats you can order on-line at places like Crowd Cow, Joyce Farms and Snake River Farms.

And then go back to watching Stanley Tucci:


Spatchcocked Chicken Salad Tucci


    Take the chicken out of the frig at least an hour before you roast it so that it is not going into the oven ice cold. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

    Step 1

    Prepare the chicken. Spatchcock the chicken by cutting out the backbone with sharp kitchen shears. Then turn it over and flatten the chicken with the palm of your hand. You'll hear it crack when it flattens out.

    Step 2

    Put softened butter or duck fat under the chicken's breast skin. Run your finger under the skin to loosen, then slip the butter beneath it. Be careful not to tear the skin. Then season the chicken with kosher salt and pepper or other seasonings.

    Step 3

    Place the chicken on a bed of sliced onions and slices of rosemary sourdough bread. Drizzle olive oil generously over the onions and the chicken. Pour some white wine in the pan and toss some chunks of butter in, too. About half a stick of butter to 1/2 cup of wine will do.

    Step 4

    Roast at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, then crank the oven up to 500 degrees to get a good color on the chicken and finish cooking. Watch the chicken while it's cooking and you could baste it with some melted butter in the pan. For this chicken it took about 10 more minutes after I turned the temp up to 500 degrees before I was ready to take it out, but this is where you need to start checking for doneness. You want the temp of the chicken itself to come up to about 165 degrees.

    Step 5

    Remove chicken from oven and loosely tent with foil.

    Step 6

    Make a Ceasar salad. Toss the romaine with dressing (recipe is on this site). You can make croutons for the salad, but if you roasted the chicken on thick slices of sourdough bread, you don't need additional croutons.

    Step 7

    Plate the roasted bread on the bottom of the plate. Pile salad on top. Arrange sliced chicken on top of salad.

    Step 8

    Poach an egg! Bring a flat pan of water to a simmer (not a boil) and slip an egg in the hot water. Cook until the yolk is set (or not... you can cook the egg to desired doneness). Trim the ragged edges of egg white so it's pretty and place on the top of the chicken salad.

    Step 9

    Grind some coarse black pepper over the salad. Go back to watching Stanley Tucci.

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