My new go-to weeknight bird. This recipe combines the best of spatchcocking, preheated pans, and sheet-pan suppers. Feel free to play around with the seasoning. Maybe soft butter instead of olive oil. Maybe some smoked paprika wants to get involved, or za’atar. Maybe some quartered lemons or onions want to hang out on the sheet tray. Let me know what you try!
Set the oven to 450° F. Immediately add a rimmed sheet pan. Once the oven comes up to temperature, set a 15-minute timer.
In the meantime, spatchcock and season the chicken. Lay it breast side down on a cutting board. Use a pair of scissors or poultry shears to snip along one side of the spine, then the other, to remove it. (You can save this in the freezer for stock down the road.) Flip the chicken over and press down on the breastbone until you hear a soft crack. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Rub with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.
When the timer goes off, carefully remove the sheet pan from the oven. Quickly add the chicken, then get it back in the oven.
Roast for about 30 minutes—until a meat thermometer inserted into the joint between the thigh and body reaches 165°F, or until a knife inserted in the same place produces clear (not pink) juices.
Let rest for about 10 minutes, then carve. Serve on the sheet pan with bread and salad alongside.
Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in October 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.