Nonstick cooking spray
1 whole chicken, 3-4 pounds (see quick tip)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup honey
1/8 cup mustard
1/8 cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. This will make for easier cleanup, as balsamic can be very sticky business.
First butterfly the chicken. You’re going to need a pair of kitchen shears for this one. First cut out the backbone of the chicken using the shears. Once this is done, lay the chicken flat on the baking sheet, pounding it with a mallet if necessary. In the excess skin near the legs, cut a slit on each side of the chicken for the leg to slip in. This will ensure proper cooking.
In a small bowl, combine the balsamic, garlic, honey and mustard. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking to make sure the mixtures comes together. Pour over the chicken. If you aren’t squeamish, try to get some the mixture under the skin. Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Once heated, put in the chicken for 45 minutes. At this time, use a thermometer near the thigh bone of the chicken – it should register around 165 degrees if it is cooked through. If not, it will need more cooking time.
Once out of the oven, let it sit for five minutes. Carve and serve.
QUICK TIP: For those who may want a smaller bird, a Cornish game hen is a wonderful alternative and easy to find kosher. I would say that two Cornish game hens are about the equivalent to one whole chicken in this recipe. I would reduce the temperature to 400 degrees and cook them between 30-35 minutes in this case, though.
KOSHER ALERT!: If you only drink and cook with kosher wines, be careful how you choose your balsamic vinegar. Since it is made from grapes, it needs to go through a similar process as wine to get its hecsher, which means it must be made only by Jews and not produced on the Sabbath. Luckily, there is good kosher balsamic vinegar out there – Bartenura is one of my faves.