- Makes 2 chickens:
- 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.