It’s spring. Officially. Finally. And that makes me think of chicken.
Oh sure—it also makes me think of daffodils and tulips and trees leafing out and baby ducks.
But also, chicken.
Because of the phrase “spring chicken.”
Spring chickens don’t really exist any more, at least not as culinary opportunities. Chickens used to be hatched in the spring and so a spring chicken was a markedly young, small, and tender one.
These days, though, chickens are hatched year-round, so there’s nothing special about one in the springtime. Also year-round, if you want a small chicken you can buy a Rock Cornish game hen. But they’re not young chickens—Cornish hens are simply a breed that produces a very tiny bird.
More than you ever wanted to know about chickens!
But my mind wanders to chickens in the springtime nevertheless. Specifically roast chicken. It just seems seasonally appropriate, falling perfectly between the chicken braises, soups, and stews of winter and the grilled chicken and chicken salads of summer.
And what could be simpler than a roast chicken?
Sprinkle on a little salt and pepper, maybe some herbs and/or spices. Spatchcock or not. Stick it in the oven, wait about an hour, pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy.
(If you absolutely must have a recipe, here’s one for springalicious Coriander and Fennel Seed Spatchcocked Chicken with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce, pictured. The title has a lot of words but it’s really easy to make. Or try this one for Classic Roast Chicken with Roast Potatoes.)
Yes, you can fress about the best way to get perfectly crisped skin or whether to do a wet or dry brine. The merits of a hot oven or a slow one. But you do so at the risk of convincing yourself that roasting a chicken is somehow hard or complicated.
Which it’s not.
So enjoy a nice roast chicken.
Spring has sprung.
More spring chicken recipes:
Coriander and Fennel Seed Spatchcocked Chicken with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
Classic Roast Chicken with Roast Potatoes
Spring Chicken and Rice Stovetop Casserole
Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry
Chicken Paillards with Asparagus, Lemon, and Garlic
Chicken Posole Verde
Spinach Salad with Chicken, Strawberries, Blue Cheese, and Almonds
Yogurt Chicken with Chutney Yogurt Sauce