I love roasting chickens for a number of reasons – the smell for one will make your family ravenous, and when you do two at a time, you get great leftovers. Not to mention carcasses for stock. But I don’t always have 1 1/2 hours available to roast, so here’s a great shortcut. Simply cutting the backbone from the bird and laying them flat nearly cuts the cooking time in half! This is a quick, effective and truly delicious way to savor home roasted chicken. Plus, when you roast them flat, you can toss in lots of vegetables to roast alongside – root vegetables like quartered red onions with skins removed, sliced sweet potatoes and whole baby carrots. Add a salad like Coleslaw or Broccoli Bacon Salad and dinner is set.
2 young fryers, about 4 lbs.
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. salt and sprinkling of freshly ground pepper
- Preaheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Okay – for removing the backbone:
Remove any innards. Now grab the nub of the tail, and with kitchen shears, cut about 1/2″ away from the edge of the backbone all the way from the tail to the neck. Holding the back bone, cut down the other side, ending at the neck, thereby removing the back bone. Flip the bird over, carcass side up. Remove the grizzle (you’ll see it in the center of the bird) to reveal the keel bone. The keep bone is attached on the underside of the bird near the legs. It’s several inches long – trust me, you’ll see it! Pull it back and cut it off. There will be some extra fat at the opening of the bird that you’ll want to trim off. Give the bird quick rinse and pat dry. Voila you’ve just butterflied a chicken!
- Drizzle olive oil on both sides of birds and sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper and thyme.
- Place skin side up on roasting pan and scatter root vegetables around perimeter if desired.
- Roast for 45-50 minutes. To make sure chicken is cooked through, pierce the thigh at the thickest part. If juices run clear, it’s done. An internal meat thermometer should register 165 degree at the thigh joint.
- When cool enough to handle, cut chicken into pieces and serve with lemon wedges.