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Easy Roast Chicken, Tender and Delicious

easy roast chicken

Easy Roast Chick­en is the deli­cious star of any fam­i­ly din­ner or gath­er­ing. It takes about 15 min­utes to pre­pare it for the oven and the result is a beau­ti­ful­ly sea­soned bird with crispy skin. The ten­der meat is scent­ed with onion, herbs and lemon. It is del­ish supreme! Your fam­i­ly and guests will think it’s a mag­i­cal secret recipe. You and I will know the real secret, though. It’s in the prep.

easy roast chicken

Spatchcocking (Butterflying) a Whole Chicken

The best way to roast a chick­en is to spatch­cock (but­ter­fly) the whole bird. That sounds a lit­tle intim­i­dat­ing until you know that all it means is you will remove the back­bone of the chick­en and lay the bird flat to roast it. Spatch­cock­ing allows the meat to cook more even­ly, so you don’t have some parts under-cooked and oth­ers over.

spatchcocked chicken for easy roast chicken

The oth­er thing I love about cook­ing a but­ter­flied chick­en is that ALL the skin gets crispy. You don’t end up with the sog­gy, limp skin from the bot­tom of the bird. Every inch of skin is above, exposed to the heat, instead of sit­ting in juices in the bot­tom of the pan. Know what IS sit­ting in pan juices and soak­ing up all that fla­vor? The meat! Uh huh. You’re going to love learn­ing this technique!

This is actu­al­ly a very sim­ple recipe com­pared to many in the roast chick­en world. But, the fla­vor is phe­nom­e­nal! It requires a few min­utes more of your time, but noth­ing is dif­fi­cult to do and the results are a huge pay­off! I hope you’ll give my Easy Roast Chick­en a try. I think once you do, you’ll come back to this recipe, again and again.

How to Spatchcock the Bird for Easy Roast Chicken

All you need is the chick­en and a sharp chef’s or butch­er knife. If you have high-qual­i­ty *kitchen shears, and are more com­fort­able with those, I have actu­al­ly seen it done that way, too.

Imag­ine two dashed lines down each side of the chick­en’s back­bone. The lines would run from the neck to the tail. Those are the lines you will cut along. That will remove the back­bone. Watch the video, below, to see the whole process.

chicken with dotted cutting lines
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Start at the neck and go right along the back bone, at the spot where the ribs con­nect to it. That’s fair­ly easy cut­ting. It will get a lit­tle tougher when you get to the hip bone, near­er the tail. Just use firm pres­sure and stay along that same imag­i­nary line that will come out right along the side of the tail. 

Repeat the process on the oth­er side. Lift out the back­bone and place it, along with the neck and giblets you removed from the chick­en cav­i­ty, in a zip­top bag in your freez­er. We’ll be using them in anoth­er recipe, later.

That’s it! But­ter­fly­ing a chick­en is real­ly pret­ty sim­ple once you have done it a time or two. Once it’s com­plete, you’re ready to use the bird in this scrump­tious recipe. Seri­ous­ly, it’s a keep­er. My Easy Roast Chick­en will become a favorite in your reg­u­lar meal rotation.

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easy roast chicken

Easy Roast Chicken


  • Author: Glen­da Embree
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 serv­ings 1x

Ingredients

Scale

For the Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken
  • ¼ cup avo­ca­do oil
  • 1 medi­um red onion, cut into thick slices
  • 1 large lemon, cut into slices
  • 1 Table­spoon minced garlic

For the Sea­son­ing Blend:

  • 1 Table­spoon onion powder
  • 1 Table­spoon paprika
  • 1 Table­spoon salt
  • 1 Table­spoon coarse black pepper
  • 1 tea­spoon thyme (pow­der)
  • ¼ tea­spoon dried, crushed rosemary

Instructions

  1. Pre­heat oven to 425°.
  2. Mix up the sea­son­ing blend.
  3. Cov­er a bak­ing sheet in foil.
  4. Slice the onions and lemon and arrange in a sin­gle lay­er in the cen­ter of the bak­ing sheet.
  5. Remove the neck and giblets from the open cav­i­ty in the chick­en.  Set them aside for lat­er use.
  6. Spatch­cock (but­ter­fly) the chicken.
  7. Pat chick­en dry with paper towels.
  8. Place chick­en on bak­ing sheet, over the onion and lemon slices.
  9. Loosen skin over entire bird. This is sim­ple.  You don’t want to take it off, just loosen it, all over, so you can get sea­son­ing to the meat.  Slide your fin­gers under the skin near the bot­tom edge of the chick­en and work your way up.  After that you will be able to reach and loosen it over the thighs and part of the leg. 
  10. Rub a third to half of the avo­ca­do oil under the skin, over the entire sur­face of the chicken.
  11. Rub the remain­ing avo­ca­do oil on top of the skin, cov­er­ing entire surface.
  12. Take the minced gar­lic and spread it out under the skin, over the entire sur­face of the bird.  Gar­lic will burn, and taste bit­ter, if you put it on top of the skin, so put all of it underneath.
  13. Now, take your sea­son­ing blend, using a third to half of it, and rub it into the entire sur­face of the bird under the skin.
  14. Use the remain­ing sea­son­ing to rub it on top of the skin.  Cov­er every inch.  Get under the wings and legs, too.
  15. Roast the chick­en at 425° for 55–65 min­utes, until the inter­nal tem­per­a­ture at the thick­est part of the breast and thigh is 165°.  Be sure not to let your meat ther­mome­ter touch bone when check­ing the temperature.
  16. Remove the chick­en from the oven and allow to rest 10 min­utes before cut­ting and serving.

Notes

This chick­en makes a very ele­gant pre­sen­ta­tion cut into quar­ters, by remov­ing the thigh and leg, as one por­tion, from each side of the bird and then split­ting the breast sec­tion down the cen­ter, leav­ing the wing attached. It can also be eas­i­ly cut into 8 pieces by remov­ing the thigh leg por­tions and cut­ting those at the joint to get indi­vid­ual legs and thighs.  Then remove the wings and final­ly, cut the breast in two halves.

  • Prep Time: 15 min­utes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Cat­e­go­ry: Main Dish, Meat, Chicken
  • Cui­sine: Amer­i­can
easy roast chicken

How to Make Easy Roast Chicken

Pre­heat the oven. Mix up your sea­son­ing blend and set it aside. Next mince the gar­lic, slice the onion and the lemon. Lay the onion and lemon in a sin­gle lay­er at the cen­ter of your sheet tray. Set the tray aside and get the chick­en prepped.

Remove the bag of giblets and neck bone from the cav­i­ty in your chick­en. Set the chick­en, breast-side-down on a cut­ting board and spatch­cock the bird accord­ing to the instruc­tions, above.

Lay the but­ter­flied chick­en, skin-side-up, on top of the onion and lemon slices. 

Loosen the skin over entire the bird. This is sim­ple.  You don’t want to take it off, just loosen it, all over, so you can get sea­son­ing to the meat.  Slide your fin­gers under the skin near the bot­tom edge of the chick­en and work your way up.  After that, you will be able to reach and loosen it over the thighs and the upper part of the leg. 

Rub a third to half of the avo­ca­do oil under the skin, over the entire sur­face of the chicken.

oil on the skin for Easy roast chicken

Rub the remain­ing avo­ca­do oil on top of the skin, cov­er­ing entire surface.

Take the minced gar­lic and spread it out under the skin, over the entire sur­face of the bird.  Gar­lic will burn, and taste bit­ter, if you put it on top of the skin, so put all of it underneath.

garlic under skin
Spread the gar­lic direct­ly over the meat, under the skin.

Now, take your sea­son­ing blend, using a third to half of it, and rub it into the entire sur­face of the bird under the skin.

Use the remain­ing sea­son­ing to rub it on top of the skin.  Cov­er every inch.  Get under the wings and legs, too.

seasoning rubbed on chicken for roasting

Roast the chick­en at 425° for 55–65 min­utes, until the inter­nal tem­per­a­ture at the thick­est part of the breast and thigh is 165°.  Be sure not to let your meat ther­mome­ter touch bone when check­ing the temperature.

Remove the chick­en from the oven and allow to rest 10 min­utes before cut­ting and serving. 

How to Serve Easy Roast Chicken

You prob­a­bly have favorite sides that you serve with chick­en. Me, too. The list of pos­si­bil­i­ties is end­less — baked pota­toes, baked sweet pota­toes, sweet pota­to casse­role, mashed pota­toes, roast­ed pota­toes, acorn squash, but­ter­nut squash, wild rice, quinoa or even pota­to sal­ad or mac­a­roni and cheese. For veg­gies the top of my list is a green sal­ad, but broc­coli sal­ad or roast­ed or steamed broc­coli, cau­li­flower, car­rots or aspara­gus would also be spectacular.

How you cut the chick­en actu­al­ly may affect your deci­sion of what to serve it with. For a more ele­gant plate I pre­fer to quar­ter the bird. I do that by remov­ing each thigh and leg por­tion, as a sin­gle piece, and then split­ting the breast down the cen­ter. I leave the wing attached to the breast. This cre­ates gen­er­ous por­tions for 4 and the abil­i­ty to craft a more ele­gant plate for a spe­cial date night or a din­ner with guests.

For a reg­u­lar fam­i­ly din­ner with 8 pieces of chick­en, start by remov­ing the wings. Then cut off the thigh and leg por­tion. Each of those can be cut again, at the joint, to get a sep­a­rate thigh and leg. Then slice the breast in half. Voila! Fam­i­ly dinner.

The Economy of Chicken

Chick­en, in any form, is the best bang for your buck when buy­ing meat. I can get bone­less, skin­less chick­en breasts for $1.99 per pound. And this beau­ti­ful whole bird we’re roast­ing, today? Only .97 per pound! That stretch­es your gro­cery bud­get a LOT far­ther than a $4 or $5 pound of ground beef. You can feed your fam­i­ly AND get a sec­ond meal out of it, too! (We’ll talk about that in a minute.) My point is, chick­en is a great way to put some stretch in a tight bud­get and still feed your fam­i­ly nutritiously.

Like any­thing in life, it seems, the trade-off for cost is time. By invest­ing a few min­utes of your time, you’ll make an invest­ment in your bank account that you won’t regret. If I told you buy­ing whole chick­ens could be one step that helps you put $1000 in the bank by the end of the year, would you try it? Well, my friend, if you trim $19.24 out of your bud­get each week and put it in sav­ings, you’ll do it. $1000 in a year! Start with buy­ing whole chick­en and I’ll bet you’ll think of dozens of oth­er things to cut to come up with that $19.24. Give it a try!

The beau­ti­ful thing about roast chick­en, specif­i­cal­ly, is that all those won­der­ful­ly roast­ed bones, along with the back­bone and neck you saved when you spatch­cocked the bird are going to pro­duce anoth­er deli­cious meal. Don’t throw them out. Save all the bones when your meal is done.

Use Roasted Bones to Make Delicious Chicken Stock

That’s every­thing, for today, friend. Remem­ber to save the bones and stick them in the freez­er along with the neck and back­bone you saved. This one bird is going to con­tribute to two meals! 

Be on the look­out. Soon, I’ll show you how to use the bones from your roast chick­en to cre­ate a fla­vor­ful, rich stock. You’ll be able to use it in your favorite soups and stews or in fab­u­lous recipes like my Home­made Enchi­la­da Sauce and Jalapeno Chick­en and Corn Chow­der.

Have a bless­ing-filled day! You’re awesome!

enchilada sauce
jalapeno chicken and corn chowder

2 thoughts on “Easy Roast Chicken, Tender and Delicious”

  1. Yum! I’m lazy and usu­al­ly cook my whole chick­ens in the crock pot. This looks won­der­ful! I’m def­i­nite­ly going to give it a try the next time we have chicken.

    Reply

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