Recipe Review

This 2-Ingredient Chicken May Be Another Contender for the Best Chicken Recipe of All Time

published May 22, 2015
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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

It really is hyperbole to call any recipe the best — and yet we still quest after that singular experience, that recipe that will make us go yes! that was amazing! Contenders come across my radar rarely; when it comes to chicken, just one other recipe exploded off the page into hyperbolic category (remember that Jamie Oliver chicken in milk?).

But here comes another chicken recipe, swaggering into the ring and asking for serious respect. The catch, here? It only has two ingredients. I tried it, and here’s what I thought of it.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

The Recipe: The Best Effing Chicken Recipe Ever

This chicken recipe does, for the record, make large claims — the hyperbole starts in its name. I discovered it at the gluten-free magazine, GFF, where they label it the best effing chicken recipe ever.

Well, OK! That’s a pretty strong claim, but I was game. I was immediately curious, too, since it only claimed two ingredients (salt and chicken). What makes it special, then?

One thing, it turns: This chicken is completely deboned. That’s right, the butcher takes out all the bones before cooking. This goes rather beyond simply flattening or spatchcocking a chicken. And it’s tricky (I wouldn’t attempt this at home).

But if you manage to procure such a chicken, then cooking it is so simple — you simply salt, then roast. Cutting it up is a breeze, says GFF.

The recipe was created for them by James Beard Award-winner and two-Michelin-star chef Daniel Patterson. He finishes it with fried herbs and an herb vinaigrette, but the recipe, as the headnotes explain, is rather genius all on its own. As they say, “It’s the easiest recipe ever, feeds 6 for under $15, and every piece is the best piece (no bones + impossibly juicy meat + ultra-crispy skin = bliss).”

I was convinced — I definitely had to try this.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

My Review of the Best Effing Chicken Recipe Ever

First order of business: finding a deboned chicken. This proved to be by far the most difficult part of this process. My local specialty grocer wouldn’t do it; I didn’t even bother checking the more mainstream grocery store. Finally I found a poultry butcher who regularly deboned chickens to make rolled, stuffed birds.

I ordered a chicken fully deboned (except for the wings) and picked it up a couple days later. It was a bit of a revelation to see a fully deboned chicken — so floppy! So flat! So easy to handle!

I salted it, and broke the recipe immediately to add a little pepper. Then I broiled it for about 10 minutes, as instructed, to brown the chicken.

Here the cheffiness of this recipe immediately shone through — my kitchen filled up with smoke as the spattering chicken skin hit the broiler. Lacking a powerful restaurant-style ventilation system, I opened all the windows and turned on the fan.

After browning, I turned the oven down to 250°F and finished roasting the bird.

When I took it out of my now-rather-greasy oven, it was beautiful: browned, bubbling with juices, and crispy and blistered on top.

Cutting it up was a breeze — I just cut it into eight pieces with a regular chef’s knife — no need to pop joints or avoid bones.

We ate every last piece of that chicken — it was super juicy and tender, and utterly easy to serve.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

But then the big question: Does this deserve to be called the best chicken ever?

That’s a tough question and really depends on your priorities. On the one hand, it’s incredibly easy and convenient. Just pop this chicken in the oven and roast it — no muss, no fuss. (Except for in your oven, which will probably need a degreasing, but isn’t that the case with any skin-on chicken?)

On the other hand, finding a deboned chicken can be tough, depending on the quality and virtuosity of your local butcher. And in the end, is this any better than a regular old roast chicken? It doesn’t leave you with any bones for stock or broth, and it’s not that much different in terms of taste and tenderness.

So, I think I am still on the fence about awarding this a rapturous, hyperbolic title of best chicken. But is it very, very good? Yes. Is it amazingly easy and delicious? Yes, totally. Is it worth searching out a deboned chicken? I think so. And if you have easy access to deboned chickens all the time, then this gets my vote for a very frequent weeknight meal.

Have you ever tried this recipe? What did you think?