Whenever I’m having people over for dinner, one of my favorite things to make is roasted chicken. The problem is that it can take a long time to cook and often ends up overcooked, dry, or a little burnt. Zach, our resident chef, showed me a way to make a whole roasted chicken that cuts down the cooking time and gets you a more evenly cooked chicken every time. Now he’s going to share it with all of you!
If I’m planning on making roasted chicken, my go-to method is to spatchcock it. (That just means I butterfly it- or splitting it open down the back and spreading the two halves out flat.) Usually when you roast a chicken, the breast cooks faster than the legs and thighs. That means you have to keep it in the oven until the dark meat is done and often end up with overcooked, dry white meat. But by opening it up and spreading the chicken out, it’s able to roast more evenly. It also allows it to heat up faster so you can cook the whole chicken in a lot less time than you traditionally would.
1 whole chicken
1/2 cup ghee or clarified butter*
Zest of 2 lemons
Zest of 1 orange
1 tbsp chopped thyme
1/2 tbsp chopped rosemary
1/2 tbsp chopped sage
salt and pepper
*It’s important that you use ghee or clarified butter and not regular butter. They have a much higher smoke point than butter, meaning that you can cook them at a higher temperature without it burning. That helps ensure you get crispy, brown skin. If you use regular butter, the milk solids can burn.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Using poultry shears or a sharp knife, cut along one side of the backbone (on the opposite side of the breasts). Cut along the other side and remove the backbone.
- Place the chicken breast side up and press down until it’s flattened out fairly evenly. You’ll have to break the breast bone by pressing down on the wings.
- Place chicken on a wire cooking rack.
- Melt clarified butter and brush about half of it over chicken skin. Sprinkle with lemon zest, orange zest, thyme, rosemary, sage, salt and pepper.
- Place chicken in oven on a middle rack. Roast for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and brush with remaining clarified butter. Place back in oven for another 20-30 minutes. When a thermometer is inserted into the thigh it should read 165 F.
- Allow chicken to rest for about 10 minutes before serving.