Chicken is affordable and flavorful, small enough to work with whole and easy to cut into serving pieces. This simple dish satisfies my need to bite through a crunchy layer to a succulent morsel.
1 3½- to 4-lb chicken
1 ½ t salt
½ t pepper
½ t paprika
1 T olive oil
Mix the salt, pepper and paprika in a small bowl. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place a large, ovenproof skillet on the stove. Turn the heat to high and drizzle in the olive oil.
Wash the chicken, pat it dry. Cut of the wing tips. Butterfly the chicken by cutting all the way through the flesh and bone down one side of its spine. Place the chicken, skin side up, on the cutting board and push down on the middle of the breast to flatten it.
Sprinkle and rub the chicken on both sides with the spices. Place the chicken skin side down on the skillet. Fry until golden brown. You may need to push parts of the chicken down onto the hot skillet to increase the area that is browned.
Flip the chicken over and fry it for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the stove and move the pan and the chicken into the oven. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until the juices run clear.
Slice and serve hot.