Chicken al Forno with Salsa Verde

Every culture has a version of Salsa Verde (green sauce). It’s consistently and uniquely delicious and varies as much by ingredient as ethnicity. I have to admit, I love them all…but, Jonathan Waxman’s version of, Salsa Verde from his new cookbook, Italian My Way is one of my favorites. We made a few adjustments, including the addition of artichoke hearts to add another dimension.

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Preheat the oven to 450°. Using kitchen scissors, cut out the backbone. Flatten the chicken and pull out the breast bone, also known as spatchcocking. Check out our post on, How To Spatchcock A Chicken. Cut the chicken in half through the breast and season with sea salt and pepper. Set the chicken skin side up, in a roasting pan, drizzle with oil and season skin side with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper; add the lemon halves to the pan and roast for 40 minutes, basting every 10 minutes, until just cooked through.

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Meanwhile, make the salsa verde. Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, smash or pulse the capers with the anchovies and garlic until finely chopped. Add all of the remaining ingredients to combine. You can certainly use a food processor but a mortar and pestle is a far superior tool for this sauce. It may take a bit more work, but it produces a chunkier sauce and allows each ingredient to truly shine.

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Season with salt. Serve the chicken with the salsa verde and the roasted lemon.
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The mixture of herbs can be substituted to account for personal taste. We use whatever we have growing in our garden.

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You could also easily double the salsa, yes it’s that good. Left over chicken can be shredded and turned into a mouthwatering panini, topped with salsa verde, crisp lettuce and ripe tomato.

 

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Chicken al Forno with Salsa Verde

Every culture has a version of Salsa Verde (green sauce). It’s consistently and uniquely delicious and varies as much by ingredient as ethnicity.

  • Yield: 4-6 1x
Scale

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 1 lemon, halved
  • One 4-pound organic chicken
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salsa Verde

  • 1/2 cup chopped basil
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped arugula
  • 1/4 cup chopped tarragon
  • 1/4 cup snipped chives
  • 1/4 cup chopped sage
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup salt-packed capers, drained and rinsed in cold water
  • 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets, soaked in cold water for 510 minutes and patted dry
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 artichoke hearts

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Using kitchen scissors, cut out the backbone. Flatten the chicken and pull out the breast bone. Cut the chicken in half through the breast and season with salt and pepper. Set the chicken skin side up in a roasting pan and drizzle with the oil; add the lemon halves to the pan and roast for 40 minutes, basting every 10 minutes, until just cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, make the salsa verde. Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, smash or pulse the capers with the anchovies and garlic until finely chopped. Add all of the remaining ingredients and pulse to combine. Season with salt and set aside to marry flavors, stir before serving.
  3. Serve the chicken with the salsa verde and the roasted lemon.

Notes

Inspired By: Jonathan Waxman, Italian My Way