Lately I have posted a ton of chicken recipes. Why not? Americans eat about 80 lbs of chicken a year. I’m pretty picky about my chicken, we try to buy from local farmers so we know how they are raising the chickens, but when we can’t do that we try to buy organic, as close to free running as possible, and fed a natural diet (I’d rather the chicken run around and eat bugs all day.) There are a lot of health reasons, like avoiding eating sick animals, and pesticides, but also, the chicken tastes better, more complex and if you get one that’s been running around the meat is firmer, less rubbery.
These birds can be significantly pricier than a factory bird, especially if you get boneless skinless chicken breasts. You can save quite a bit of money and still buy quality chicken if you buy whole birds. Lots of people are intimidated though, whole birds take preparation, and don’t they take forever to roast? Here’s a super simple way to roast a whole tasty bird, and it’s much faster than the usual method. I spatchcock it. That’s right I take a pair of scissors and cut along the backbone on both sides. Save that for your stock (seriously, you can make it in your crockpot like I’ve done here)
Then flatten it out and put it on a cooling rack. Rub with some herbs and spices. Toss some potatoes or vegetables with olive oil and salt, put that on a sheet pan, and put the rack with the chicken on top. Roast in the oven and get ready for some incredible chicken!!
Roasted Spatchcock Chicken with Potatoes
1 4-5 lb chicken
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 thin lemon slices
4 sprigs thyme
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 pound yukon gold, diced small
1 yellow onion, cut into wedges
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch fresh parsley minced
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. To prepare chicken trim excess fat. Remove the gizzards from the chicken and discard. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and set it on a cutting board. Flip it onto its breast and using sturdy kitchen shears, remove the backbone by cutting carefully down each side of the bone, starting at the tail end of the bird. The entire inside of the chicken should be exposed when you’re finished. Sprinkle the cavity thoroughly with salt and pepper, and then flip the chicken over so that it lies flat. Gently slide your fingers under the skin and ease it away from the meat, around both sides of the breast and both legs. tuck lemon slices and 2 springs thyme between skin and meat. Place chicken, breast side up, on a cooling rack set atop a pan, and rub with one tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika.
In a bowl, toss potatoes, onion wedges, and 2 sprigs thyme with 1 Tb olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Add to pan under chicken.
Roast chicken until juices run clear when pierced between breast and leg (an instant-read thermometer should read 165 degrees when inserted in thickest part of a thigh, avoiding bone), about 50 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before carving. Pile vegetables on plate, top with chicken and parsley.
I feel like this chicken needs a little chicken dress… she looks so exposed!