So… there are like, 100 whole roast chicken recipes out there that claim that they are the “best.” So I’m not going to claim that this is THE BEST whole roast chicken recipe, but it’s pretty darn close. I generally judge whole cooked chickens by how crispy the skin is, because let’s face it: it’s the best part! Also, along with the crispy skin, the meat needs to be tender and juicy and definitely not overcooked.
One thing I’ve learned over the years of cooking whole chicken is that in order for all of the meat to be evenly cooked without drying out, it should be evenly spread out on the roasting pan. The solution for this? Spatchcock it!
For the extra crispy chicken, you need to make sure the chicken is dry as can be, and not use any fat or oils! I know it’s pretty standard to coat the skin with butter or olive oil, but I’ve found that the meat is plenty tender without it, and this yields in a super crispy, yummy chicken. If you love the butter flavor, you can always use it as a dip or drizzle it after the chicken is done cooking.
Also, if you want your skin to be even crispier, you can let it sit in the refrigerator after salting it uncovered for 12-48 hours. This lets the chicken to dry out even more and yields a seriously delicious crunchy skin. Follow this method, and I promise you’ll love how tasty your chicken turns out!
- 1 pasture-raised whole chicken (2-4 lbs)
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste (omit for AIP)
- Herbs of your choice (optional)
- Starchy vegetables (optional)
- Spatchcock the chicken: Using kitchen shears, cut out the backbone, spread out the chicken, and press down on the breasts with both hands until the chicken flattens out in a single layer. Tuck in the wing tips behind the breasts.
- Use a paper towel to pat the chicken dry as much as possible.
- Sprinkle sea salt all over the chicken skin, coating it evenly.
- Season to taste with pepper, and sprinkle with herbs of your choice. I usually don't add herbs and I find that the chicken is flavorful either way.
- Optional: place the chicken uncovered in the refrigerator for 12-48 hours if you want extra crispy chicken.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Place the chicken on a roasting rack, and if using, place chopped starchy vegetables (like potatoes, carrots, onions) underneath the chicken on the roasting pan. You don't need to add oils to the vegetables. The delicious chicken fat will drip down and coat them while cooking.
- Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, or until the meat thermometer reads 150 degrees for the breasts, and 170 for the thighs.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving with roasted vegetables.
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