Super-Simple Flat-Roasted Chicken
Whenever we have roasted chicken, I can count on my four kids coming into the kitchen saying, “Come on! Mom’s butchering the chicken! Come see!”
Well, to them, it might look like an intense butchering job, but it’s really only a couple cuts with my kitchen shears and a good push on the top to break the breastbone.
(But my kids think I’m AMAZING “butchering” a whole chicken. Haha…)
If you love roasted chicken as much as we do, and if you’ve never flat-roasted your chicken, you need to try it this way!
HERE’S WHY I STARTED DOING FLAT-ROASTED CHICKEN:
First, you’re laying the chicken flat, and therefore it cooks evenly & quickly.
Second, your chicken will brown nicely and have lots of flavor.
And third, flat-roasting your chicken keeps the juices in, making it nice and moist.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO FLAT-ROASTED CHICKEN
- A whole chicken
- A sharp pair of kitchen shears (although I’ve done this with just a chef’s knife) 😉
- A baking sheet (deeper is better)
- Parchment paper (optional)
- Spice rub
- Olive oil
HOW TO CUT CHICKEN FOR FLAT-ROASTING
(Step-by-step instructions with photos)
- Prepare your chicken by rinsing it and removing any extra parts that may be inside.
- Remove the backbone. To do this, place your chicken breast-side-down. Starting from the top of the neck, use your kitchen shears to cut down one side of the backbone, then the other, clipping off any extra fat near the tail as well.
- Once you’ve removed the backbone, you need to break the breastbone in order for your chicken to lie flat. I can usually just flip the chicken over and give it a good push to break the bone. BUT, if it’s a tough one to break, just place a sharp knife on that center bone (when the chicken is still breast-side-down) and push down a little to start the break. Then flip it and push down to finish flattening your chicken.
- This step is optional, but it takes me just a few seconds to do, so I normally do this — remove the ribs with a sharp knife. All I do is stick my knife right behind the rib bones and slice through and they’re off. I mainly have my children in mind when I do this because small bones are choking hazards. This one is totally optional! 🙂
- Place your flattened chicken on a strong baking sheet (make sure it’s not too shallow because you’ll have juices!), folding the legs of the chicken in. I feel like its “knees” are together, haha…. see my photo below to see just how to do this.
THAT WAS EASY! NOW TO ROAST IT…..
I always use my “Roasted Chicken Rub Spice Mix” because the flavors are so bold and warm. My whole family gobbles up this chicken because it’s so flavorful, and I know that spice rub has a lot to do with that! 🙂
Season your flat-roasted chicken liberally with the spice mix, then massage it in.
Drizzle with olive oil, and again, give it a little rub.
Roast at 400 degrees F. for about 40 minutes. I use a meat thermometer to check my meat and make sure it’s definitely up to 165 degrees F. in the thickest parts.
Remove from the oven and LET IT REST for 10-15 minutes. It will smell soo good, but resist the urge to cut into it and just LET IT REST! (The reason is – the juices will re-absorb into the chicken if you give it time. If you cut into it right away, they will run out and your chicken won’t be as moist as it could be.)
I like to cut the chicken breasts off the bone and toss them around in the pan juices before serving – those spices + oil + juices from the roasted chicken are AMAZING!