Okay, so remember the Whole30? A month of squeaky clean Paleo eating, full of delicious food and feeling awesome…followed not by the recommended reintroduction phase, but by diving into a Manhattan as the kickoff to a total sugar, grains, and dairy bender. Eek!
Obviously this is less than ideal, but I’m not going to harp on it here. Basically, my dive into horrid habits has left me craving a hearty, real foods dinner. At the same time, I wanted something quick and easy that I could make in under an hour and enjoy leftovers from for the next few days. One of the temptations post-Whole30 was to fall back on convenience food rather than have to cook everything I ate. It isn’t hard to come up with Paleo convenience foods, but it does take just a bit of planning. This roast chicken recipe was the perfect solution.
I wanted to try a technique for roast poultry that I’ve heard is quick and easy. At first, spatchcocking, or butterflying, an entire chicken did give me pause. All this means is that you cut out the backbone of a chicken, open it up, and cook it flat. This technique makes the breast meat incredibly moist and the skin golden and crispy.
When I don’t know how to do something, videos really help…especially when it comes to chicken surgery. I watched a Youtube video from Foodwishes to learn exactly how to spatchcock a chicken, and it’s actually incredibly easy. If you have a pair of kitchen shears, all you need to do is cut out the backbone of a chicken, open up the chicken and cut a 1/2 inch into the breastbone, then season and roast the chicken for just about 45 minutes.
Butterflied Roast Chicken – Serves 4
Prep time: <10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
1 4-5 pound chicken, giblets removed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or oil of choice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with foil. Use paper towels to pat the chicken dry. Take a pair of kitchen shears and cut along the right side of the backbone from one end to the other. It takes a little pressure but is quite simple- the video I linked above will help if you’re uncertain! Then cut along the left side and remove the backbone. You can reserve it to make chicken stock if you’d like.
Open up the chicken and use paper towels to dry the cavity. Locate the breast bone and cut into it about a half inch. This will allow the chicken to lie totally flat on the baking sheet. Move the chicken to the baking sheet, skin side up. Tuck the wings under the breast. Coat both sides of the chicken with olive oil, then season generously with freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt.
Cook for 45 minutes or until the thickest part of the leg reaches 170 degrees F. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before cutting and serving. Resting lets the juices circulate and ensures that the meat will stay moist…and freaking delicious.