Have you found yourself cooking new recipes at home? Maybe it’s time to spice things up and start pairing those recipes with wine. Cooking with wine will add more taste and enjoyment to your meals. We asked Wine Guide and home chef Melissa Summar to partner with us on some great recipes to share with you. She’ll use her cooking expertise along with her Wine Guide know-how to help you discover more about cooking with wine.

Spatchcock chicken. What is it besides a really weird sounding word? 

Most kids watch cartoons on the weekends. When I was little, I would watch all the cooking shows on PBS. Julia Child was a favorite of mine. She was funny, very tall (just like me), and she had this determination in her. I always loved watching her cook. One of her most popular episodes is when she spatchcocks a chicken and holds up the chicken by the legs and waves them around. 

I had always wanted to try out this fancy looking way to make a roast chicken, but for some reason I had always been afraid to do so. While I’ve had so much time on my hands the past month, I was watching the Pioneer Woman on Food Network. She was making a spatchcock chicken! I decided now is the time. I had a perfectly good chicken in the freezer just waiting for me to try out this masterpiece. 

While this roasted chicken has a fancy name, it’s amazingly simple to make. Trust me, you’ll be adding this to your sheet-pan favorites meal rotation. Oh, and it pairs perfectly with one of my favorite Traveling Vineyard wines

To make the chicken you will need:

1 whole chicken
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
Your favorite BBQ seasoning (such as a combination of chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne blended with brown sugar)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Baby carrots (or rainbow baby carrots for that extra touch!)
New potatoes, cut in half or quartered (I chose purple!)
Kitchen shears

Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees.

Next, rinse the chicken, cleaning out the cavity. Place the chicken with its breast side down on a cutting board. Using sharp kitchen shears, cut each side of the spine of the chicken to remove it. It will be a little tough to cut and you might hear some sounds of cutting the bones (sorry!). Drink a glass of wine while cooking so that you can get through that part.

Once you have removed the spine of the chicken you will flip the chicken over so that it’s sitting breast side up. Press firmly down on the chicken to flatten it out a little. By removing the spine and making the chicken wider, it will cook more evenly and give you a juicy and flavorful chicken that cooks very quickly. 

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Next, add your spice rub. Start with a layer of olive oil on the chicken. Then, sprinkle salt, pepper, and BBQ seasoning to your liking. Put a few springs of the rosemary in the cavity of the chicken and place the chicken on a greased baking sheet. 

In a bowl, toss carrots, potatoes, and a couple drizzles of olive oil (the colorful veggies made this dish feel more like spring!). Season with salt, pepper, and chopped rosemary. Place the carrots and potatoes around the chicken on the sheet pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 45-55 minutes until your vegetables are tender and your chicken is cooked through. 

spatchcock chicken paired with Syrah

My first try at spatchcock was a fantastic success, and I know yours will be, too. The meat cooked quickly and resulted in a juicier chicken. But here’s the fun part! I paired the finished result with our Sky Blossom Syrah, a medium-bodied red wine from California with flavors of blackberry and black pepper. Another perfect pairing is our Tanglerose Fireside Red or our premium Tria Reserve Mouvèdre Syrah, which is also a double Gold rated wine!

The BBQ flavors really popped with these wines. My husband and I loved the Syrah. And while he doesn’t typically choose a whole roasted chicken, he gave this recipe two thumbs up! As for the kids, they loved getting to eat the chicken off the bone (they chose the chicken legs).

While you’re exploring new recipes and cooking styles at home, I highly recommend giving spatchcock chicken a try. It will turn an everyday weeknight into something a little fancier, even though making it is super simple (a win-win!). What recipes have you discovered at home recently? Pair them with our wine, snap a photo, and share them with us on Instagram by tagging @travelingvineyard.

Happy cooking and sipping!

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