Roasted chickens are one of my favorite weeknight main courses. They are very low effort and usually produce enough for left overs. Other than marinating, there is not much work that goes into creating a beautifully roasted chicken besides watching and waiting. In this recipe, I’m going to explain how to spatchcock a whole chicken (video tutorial can be found below), and marinate it resulting in even cooking, juicy meat, and crispy skin.
Spatchcocking the Chicken
To “spatchcock” means to remove the backbone of the chicken. Why do we remove the backbone? For an all around better roast. Cutting out the backbone helps the chicken cook more quickly and more evenly. I highly suggest investing in a pair of kitchen shears/scissors, as it will make this process very easy. You can find them pretty much anywhere, from Target to Amazon. I have a pair from the brand Cuisanart, which I love.
I used Sofrito to marinate this roasted chicken, however this recipe will work with any herb, onion, garlic, and bell pepper mixture. The addition of juice from an orange and a lemon helps tremendously. You can fin the full recipe for my Sofrito, here. Be sure to try and avoid getting marinade on top of the skin, as it will burn when in the oven. Keep the marinade mixture under the skin and on the underside of the chicken.
The time the chicken spends in the refrigerator, is the time you’re giving the marinade to penetrate the meat and the skin to dry out. The skin drying out is an important part of creating crispy skin while the chicken is roasting.
Time to Roast!
When removing from the refrigerator, let the chicken come to room temp before putting it into the preheated oven. This also helps the chicken cook evenly.
It took me a total of 1 hour and 15 minutes to roast this chicken, with the breasts reading 165F degrees, and the thighs reaching 180F degrees. A meat thermometer and an oven thermometer will become your best friends in the kitchen. I use my oven thermometer to get a proper reading on my oven’s actual temperature. Most ovens read a couple degrees off. For example, when I put my oven on 350F degrees, it may read 300F-320F degrees, so I rely heavily on an oven thermometer. I also rely on a meat thermometer so I can know exactly when to remove the chicken from the oven. Chicken is safe to eat at an internal temperature of 165F degrees. Although breast are perfect at this temperature & overcooked and dried out if cooked above this temperature, dark meat/thighs are way more forgiving. I actually prefer my dark meat at a higher temperature because it becomes more tender and starts to fall off of the bone.Print
This easy Herb Roasted Chicken is spatchcocked for more even cooking. The meat is juicy, the skin is crispy, and the herb and citrus filled marinade lends a ton of flavor.
- 5–6 lb whole chicken
- 6 tablespoons sofrito
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
- ground black pepper
- kosher salt, to season the skin
- Start off by spatchcocking the chicken, pressing the breast bone down (cutting out the backbone & making it flat so that it roasts evenly, shown in the video above) & cleaning off all of the extra fat and organs that might still be inside the chicken.
- Mix the sofrito, salt, olive oil and some ground black pepper in a bowl. Rub this entire mixture under the skin of the chicken, being careful no to get any on top of the skin. Flip the chicken over and rub some of the mixture on the flesh side.
- Flip the chicken back over and pat the skin dry with paper towels, then season the skin with just salt and pepper. Other spices will burn in the oven on high heat.
- Place the chicken on a bakers rack on a baking sheet & let it marinate in the refrigerator for an hour minimum, and up to overnight.
- After marinating, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for an hour. This helps with more even and quicker cooking.
- Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
- Blot excess moisture from the skin of the chicken with a paper towel and drizzle a little olive oil on top for browning. Put the chicken in the oven for and hour and fifteen minutes, or until the thickest part of the breast reads 165F degrees.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and wait at least 10 minutes before carving. Enjoy!
- Category: Poultry
- Method: Roasting