5 Ingredients or Fewer

30-Minute Roast Chicken

January 26, 2018
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

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!

Featured In: The 30-Minute Roast Chicken You're Not Making YetEmma Laperruque

What You'll Need
  • 4 pounds chicken
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Set the oven to 450° F. Immediately add a rimmed sheet pan. Once the oven comes up to temperature, set a 15-minute timer.
  2. 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.
  3. When the timer goes off, carefully remove the sheet pan from the oven. Quickly add the chicken, then get it back in the oven.
  4. 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.
  5. Let rest for about 10 minutes, then carve. Serve on the sheet pan with bread and salad alongside.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Paula Strawser
    Paula Strawser
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  • Jay Schneider
    Jay Schneider
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  • Emma Laperruque
    Emma Laperruque
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

13 Reviews

Paula S. February 18, 2019
This is a great recipe. We first tried this while vacationing with a group of friends. It was such a hit we did it several times that week. We browned the backbone, neck, wingtips and any entrails except liver with some onions and wine to make a sauce, which we poured over the carved chicken. Excellent sguff!
gcooks May 26, 2018
perfect. juicy & tender. i used a 4.5 pound bird the butcher prepped, pulled out it of the fridge 2 hrs before it went in the oven. cooked 36 minutes total. thank you!
Lois S. March 29, 2018
This is by far the best roast chicken ever. I used a 6lb. Chicken and preheated a cast iron roasting pan. We were licking our fingers. Absolutely, superb.
DJ C. February 20, 2018
Re my previous comment about oven smoking.
I know how to spatchcock and roast a chicken, or anything else for that matter. Thanksgiving is a smokefest too. Perhaps it has something to do with living at 7,000 (Santa Fe). That's the only other thing I can think of. I have a range oven, which I use for roasting since it's under the hood fan, and a wall oven, which I have never roasted in because it's not under a fan. I have found that the more exposed pan surface you have, the more smoke is created. In frying or sauteeing on the stove as well. A full pan spits grease on the stove much less if it's full of food, versus a smaller amount with edges exposed. BTW roasting a whole chicken or prime cut of meat at altitude takes at least an hour longer, on the average. I envy you your quick dinners!
Manhattan T. February 17, 2018
I've used this roasting method twice now, both times for a larger bird. The 5.5# chicken took only 35 minutes, as I'd removed it from the fridge well in advance of roasting it, but the 6.5# chicken took a solid 45 min; I'd not removed it very far in advance and it was hefty! Chef John (foodwishes) has a terrific, brief video on how to spatchcock; it's worth 3 minutes of your time to watch. I use only 1 full teaspoon of salt, lots of black pepper and some dried or fresh rosemary and thyme.
The skin was crispy but doesn't stay crispy through a second helping... The chicken does have terrific flavor and texture. For larger birds a thermometer is a must.
I had zero trouble with a smoking oven.
I'll keep using this method. I even bought new kitchen shears for the spatchcocking (don't even bother with your old dull shears...)!
Jay S. February 4, 2018
Moist and delicious, skin was not as crispy as I hoped for.
Jay S. February 4, 2018
Moist and delicious, skin was not as crispy as I hoped for.
DJ C. February 1, 2018
The bigger the exposed area of the (greasy) pan around the chicken, the more smoke I have in my kitchen and the more grease spattered in the oven. I have a great vent fan but the smoke just rolls out if I don't open the door very slowly, Anyone else have this problem?
Emma L. February 1, 2018
Hi DJ—some smoking/splattering is normal with an oven temperature this high. The chicken also might have been especially fatty. Trimming any extra skin or fat before roasting can help this!
Dana January 29, 2018
Cook breast up or down? Thanks!
Emma L. January 29, 2018
Hi Dana—breasts facing up.
Matt January 28, 2018
This recipe seems wrong. Even Kenji Lopez-Alt's recipe calls for 45 minutes to an hour. Thirty minutes seems very short!
Emma L. January 29, 2018
Hi Matt—I was surprised by the 30 minutes, too! Cook times vary for a lot of reasons: bird size; oven temperature; technique. This recipe uses a 4-pound bird (some recipes use 5 or 6), a high-temperature oven, a spatchcock, and a preheated sheet pan. All those variables, especially the last, yield a quicker-than-usual result. The accompanying article (linked in the recipe headnote) goes into all this in more detail.