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.
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.
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.
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.Print
For the Chicken
- 1 whole chicken
- 1/4 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)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried, crushed rosemary
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Mix up the seasoning blend.
- Cover a baking sheet in foil.
- Slice the onions and lemon and arrange in a single layer in the center of the baking sheet.
- Remove the neck and giblets from the open cavity in the chicken. Set them aside for later use.
- Spatchcock (butterfly) the chicken.
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels.
- Place chicken on baking sheet, over the onion and lemon slices.
- 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.
- Rub a third to half of the avocado oil under the skin, over the entire surface of the 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!