Spatchcock Chicken with Salsa Verde
Learning how to make a whole roasted chicken is a fantastic, healthy way to get dinner cooked for a small crowd or in bulk if it’s just two people in a home. You can eat off a whole roasted chicken for a few days as is, make chicken salad sandwiches out of it, add it to fresh green salads, or use it in a multitude of ways. If you want to eat it as is, I recommend spatchcocking the chicken so that the skin gets evenly crispy and the meat stays juicy throughout. If you’re not familiar with spatchcocking, this Spatchcock Chicken with Salsa Verde recipe will make it easy for you to learn.
First, you want to start with high-quality chicken. I used a whole chicken (about 3 pounds) from Bell & Evans. Their chicken is humanely raised, contains no antibiotics, and is air-chilled. Most chicken is chilled in a water solution, but air-chilling helps to preserve the natural juices in the chicken and is overall a better method. You can read more about the air-chilling method here.
Next, you’ll want to cut the chicken spatchcock-style. What this means is you’re splitting the chicken down the backbone, removing and discarding the backbone (I suggest saving it to make homemade chicken stock) and then spreading out the chicken so it’s flatter and more even, allowing for the skin to crisp up nicely as it cooks.
The salsa verde for this recipe is a must! It complements the chicken well and since the chicken is only seasoned simply with salt and pepper, it helps to add more flavor with the salsa verde. It’s also a great sauce to help save a dried-out chicken, just in case you overcook it a bit or if you reheat leftovers and they get a bit dry.
If you want to try eating healthy or cooking in bulk this year, how to roast a whole chicken is a great technique you should learn.
Get more gluten-free healthy recipes.
Spatchcock Chicken with Salsa Verde
- 1 Bell & Evans whole chicken (about 3 pounds)
- Kosher or fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 oranges
- 3 lemons , divided
- 1 small bunch fresh thyme
- 1 cup fresh Italian parsley
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- 3 cloves garlic , smashed, peeled, and coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons rice or white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons capers , drained
- 2 anchovy filets
- ½ - ¾ cup olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the chicken on a large cutting board, breast-side down. Using kitchen shears, cut along each side of the backbone and remove the bone. (Save the bone for making stock at a later date. Place in a freezer bag and freeze.) Flip the chicken over and press firmly in the center of the breasts to flatten. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Slice the oranges into ¼-inch slices. Slice two of the lemons into ¼-inch thick slices. Place the orange and lemon slices on the prepared baking sheet to create a “rack” for the chicken to sit on. Top the citrus with the thyme springs. Place the chicken on top of the citrus and herbs, skin side up. Tuck the wings under the breasts. Roast for 45 minutes or until the skin is browned and crispy and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the inner thigh reaches 160 degrees. Remove from the oven, place on a cutting board, and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Place the parsley, cilantro, basil, garlic, vinegar, capers, 1 teaspoon pepper, and anchovies in a food processor. Pulse several times until the herbs are coarsely chopped. With the machine running, drizzle in enough olive oil to make a thick but pourable sauce. Serve with the chicken.
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