I've cooked plenty of whole chickens and I think it's a great way to easily fix a whole bird. It's very simple and you can place herbs and lemons inside the chicken for extra flavor. But my favorite way to fix a whole chicken is to spatchcock it - to butterfly it. There's a couple of reason why I prefer this method. First, I love dark meat and when you butterfly a chicken, the thighs get nice and crispy. When you cook a whole bird, unless you flip the chicken, the thighs will be on the bottom of the pan and they end up never really getting brown. Also, if you are pressed for time, a butterflied chicken will cook much faster than a whole chicken. To butterfly the chicken, you simply remove the backbone, flip the chicken over, and press down on the breastbone until the chicken cracks and lays flat.
My Italian blogger friends, Marie over at Proud Italian Cook and Maryann at Finding La Dolce Vita, are hosting their second annual Festa Italiana, a virtual potluck of Italian dishes. I wanted to make something really special for this, so I did a Pasta Roll, stuffed with spinach and dressed with tomato sauce.