- 2 whole chickens
- 3 pounds shallots, peeled
- Olive oil
Inside each chicken cavity:
- 7-8 whole garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
The herb butter:
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 4 garlic cloves, grated
- 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- Juice of a lemon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
The red pepper sauce (tirokafteri):
- 8 ounces feta cheese (preferably Dodonis)
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- 2-4 roasted red peppers
- about 1/4 teaspoon or more crushed red pepper flakes (I prefer much more)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F, 200 °C.
- Combine all of the red pepper sauce ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Place 2 cups of the sauce in a bowl to stuff the chickens with and store the remaining sauce in a bowl in the refrigerator.
- Place the shallots in a baking dish large enough to hold the chickens. Drizzle them with ¼ cup olive oil and season with some salt. Roast for 15 minutes while you prepare the chickens.
- Combine all of the herb butter ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together to combine.
- Season the cavity of each chicken with salt, cumin powder, and red pepper flakes, and add the garlic cloves.
- Use your fingers or a spoon to carefully separate the skin from the chickens from the breast to create a pocket that will hold the red pepper sauce. Place a tablespoon of the herb butter under the skin of each breast. Spread it all around with your fingers.
- Place ¾ cup – 1 cup of red pepper sauce under the skin of the chicken breasts. Spread around so that it can reach the thighs as well.
- Tie the legs with butcher’s twine.
- Remove the shallots from the oven and place the chickens in the pan along with them.
- Pour the remaining herb butter over the chickens. Season with salt and pepper.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 °F, 180 *C.
- Roast the chickens (uncovered) for 1 and ½ to 2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165 °F. This usually takes 2 hours when roasting 2 chickens in one baking pan.
- Allow the chickens to rest at least 15 minutes so that they stay juicy. Pour the pan juices in a gravy boat and serve alongside the chicken.
- Serve with some toasted bread and more red pepper sauce.