Butterflied Roast Chicken

easy roast chicken

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.

spatchcocked butterflied roast chicken easy recipe

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.


About Humble Foodie

While we both love to eat well, life as AmeriCorps volunteers doesn’t afford us the budget to try every new restaurant and type of cuisine. With many post-graduate expenses and limited financial resources, what’s a foodie to do? The answer is here, at The Humble Foodie. Instead of spending our hard-earned cash paying other people to cook for us, we’re spending as frugally as possible making delicious meals at home.
This entry was posted in Alicia, Frugal Cooking, Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Paleo/Primal, Weeknight Dinner and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Butterflied Roast Chicken

  1. This looks great! This is a technique that I have yet to try, but keep meaning to. Always nice to see someone that has successfully done it that doesn’t have their own program on the food channel! 😉

    • Alicia says:

      Haha, I totally agree! I always find the Youtube can teach me pretty much anything I need to know, from kneading bread to changing a car’s headlight. One of my goals this year is to improve my knife skills–but really to just broaden my cooking repertoire in general. I am so glad to have tried this technique; I promise it’s really easy!

      • That is so good to hear (that it is easy!) Now all we have to do is get better knives and I’ll be in business! It’s on the list for this year, but in the meantime we don’t have anything sharp enough to cut through bone (that isn’t a tool found in the garage, lol)

      • Alicia says:

        Gardening shears, perhaps? 😛
        I have pretty crummy knives and my kitchen shears just came with the set- you need a little bit of muscle but it’s easy enough! I hope you enjoy!

  2. After seeing your instragram I looked up this method while enjoying a 146 bus ride downtown and let me tell you it look complicated by what I was reading online. Thanks for posting the tutorial you used (I know B.Winchell is big on these, too). A and I haven’t made meat in like, forever, but I could see us trying this out sometime. The finished product looks delicious!

    • Alicia says:

      It was great, and I was happy to have a recipe for roast chicken that takes less time than doing a whole chicken at once (1-1.5 hours)! It definitely looks complicated at first but even as a newbie, it took less than 10 min. I could not be more pleased with a recipe like that. 😉

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