RECIPE IDEA: Easy Oven Roasted Spatchcocked Chicken
Hi. It’s Lois at Recipe Idea Shop, with an Easy Oven Roasted Spatchcocked Chicken. Moist, flavorful, super easy. This ain’t your momma’s chicken, at least it’s not mine—it’s so much better. In the past, I have roasted chickens whole. That’s pretty simple, but it takes a long time. Usually 1-1/2 hours in the oven, plus 15 minutes resting time. But with Easy Oven Roasted Spatchcocked Chicken you are ready to eat in about an hour and it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare it.
We had to eat early on Friday because Don was driving to Baltimore after supper, and that’s about a five-hour drive. So I planned dinner for 5:30. I thought I’d pick up one of those delicious roasted chickens at the grocery store, but they didn’t have any ready when I was there. So—not one to be deterred when I have my tastebuds set on something—I bought a whole chicken and decided to bake it myself.
I must admit, though, regular baked chicken is kind of a mystery to me. Sometimes it’s moist; sometimes it’s dry as a bone; sometimes it’s undercooked. It probably has more to do with my attention span than anything, but you do have to pay attention. And I usually don’t do a consistent job with slow cooker chicken. It’s often too dry for me. (It’s better if I put the chicken in the pot frozen.) What’s the knack?
So I decided to spatchcock the chicken. And for this method, you need a good pair of kitchen shears or a sharp knife. I also use a jelly roll pan instead of a roasting pan. And measuring spoons, of course. I like the magnetic type of measuring spoons.
Why Spatchcocking is Different
Spatchcocking is almost foolproof. The chicken cooks evenly because you cut the backbone out (save it for chicken stock) and flatten the chicken before baking it. That makes it so most of the parts of the chicken are equal thickness and it cooks evenly and quickly.
True confession: I have only cooked a chicken this way three times, once on the grill and twice in the oven. But I don’t think I will ever cook another whole chicken the old-fashioned way again. I suggest you cover your baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, however, for easy clean up. I made quite a mess of my pan!
The first time I did it, I made it the way Martha Stewart said to make it. It took hours. Six to eight hours marinating the chicken, 15 minutes of prep and about 35 minutes to cook it. Our Grilled Spatchcocked Chicken was amazing. But you have to plan for it. You can’t just heat the oven, cut the chicken, throw on some spices and pop it in the oven. And, although it tasted heavenly, it wasn’t beautiful. Take a look:
On the other hand, this Easy Oven Roasted Spatchcocked Chicken took a total of one hour and 10 minutes, including the resting time. And it is my new favorate way to make chicken. It’s not only delicious. It’s gorgeous and simple. And I roasted the potatoes on the same pan at the same time. I think you could do this with any root vegetable as long as you have room on the pan.
Why Rest the Chicken?
Or meat, for that matter? There’s a science behind it. As you cook the chicken (or meat), the juices ooze out and gather in the pan, which can dry out your food. As it rests (10-15 minutes for chicken, 15-20 minutes for roasts), the juices are slowly reabsorbed into the meat, making it juicy and flavorful. So, it’s best to let your meat sit on the counter in the pan a few minutes (rest) before carving. Trust me, it will stay hot.
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Read on for Recipe and Nutrition…
I looked at a few videos on YouTube to see what temperature to roast the chicken, and found it varies. Valerie Bertinelli (the actress) had the simplest method and I modeled my recipe after hers. The extra time in the recipe is for "resting" the chicken (10 minutes).
- 1 whole chicken (4 pounds or so), parts removed (there's usually a bag in the cavity)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced into strips
- 6 sprigs (about 2" long) fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
- 1 lemon, sliced
- Heat the oven to 450F degrees.
- On the baking sheet, spread about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Place the springs of rosemary and garlic slices in the middle so that they will be completely covered by the chicken when you place it on the pan.
- Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut the backbone out of the chicken, cutting down both sides of the backbone and removing it. (Save the backbone in a bag in the freezer to make broth in the future.)
- Salt the inside of the chicken.
- Place the chicken, back side down, opened wide, on the baking sheet over the rosemary and garlic.
- Press on the breast to flatten the chicken.
- Drizzle the chicken with the remaining olive oil.
- Sprinkle salt, pepper and Herbes de Provence over the chicken.
- Spread the sliced lemon around the chicken on the pan.
- Bake the chicken at 450Fdegrees for 40-50 minutes until nice and brown and the internal temperature reaches 185F degrees (breast) and when you poke it, the juices run clear.
- Remove the chicken and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.
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