Roasting a whole chicken is one of the scary, intimidating things that doesn’t have to be so scary. In fact, if you “spatchcock” your chicken, (cut out the backbone and lay it flat) it cooks faster and more evenly, aka less room for failure! You got this. The first time you handle a raw, whole chicken and cut the bones out it’s weird. Trust me. But it’s cheaper than buying just breasts and the taste and juiciness is 100% WORTH IT. Plus, you can shred the leftovers sand use it in soups or salads later in the week so it’s a win-win.
I was actually kind of terrified to do this until I saw my girl Res Drummond spatchcock her chicken like a pro on the Food Network. I was inspired, and it wasn’t so bad in the end.
So let’s talk about what we have going on here: this simple sheet pan spatchcock chicken is fresh and springy, with the added benefit of being gluten-free, dairy-free, and whole30 approved! And you thought something this down-home delicious and soul-warming was bad for you 😉
- 2 Tbsp. fresh oregano, minced
- 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, minced
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 lemons
- Salt and pepper
- 1 lb. small yukon gold potatoes, quartered
- One 4 lb. whole chicken
- 2 zucchinis, sliced into 3" by ½" sticks
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Preheat your oven to 475F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the oregano, thyme, ½ cup olive oil, juice of 2 lemons, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- On a large, rimmed baking sheet lay out the quartered potatoes. Drizzle the potatoes with about 3 Tbsp. worth of the dressing mixture, toss to coat everything evenly, and spread them out in a single, even layer around the edges of the baking sheet. Leave room in the center for the chicken. You may want to sprinkle the potatoes with an extra pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Pat the chicken dry. Place a kitchen towel over a cutting board. Place the chicken on the towel breast-side down and locate the backbone. With sharp kitchen scissors, cut out the backbone, (discard it, or you could save it for stock).
- Flip the chicken over and press down with your weight to crack and flatten the breastbone. Season the chicken all over with 2 Tbsp. each salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken in the middle of the sheet pan skin side up, and drizzle with another 3 Tbsp. of the dressing, rubbing all over the skin.
- Place the sheet pan in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, lower the heat to 400 and roast an additional 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, toss the zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and garlic in a medium bowl with the rest of the dressing. When the time is up on the oven, remove the sheet pan, and add the zucchini mix around the chicken, (try and spread it out as much as you can).
- Cook everything for another 15 minutes, then remove the sheet pan from the oven.
- if you want extra-crispy skin, you can broil everything for an additional 5 minutes on high.
- To serve, divide the chicken into 6 pieces: 2 breasts, 2 thighs, and 2 legs. Serve with the potatoes and veggies!