Emergency Roast Chicken

I make an Emergency Roast Chicken at least once a week – sometimes twice, if not thrice. As a matter of fact, today is the second day in a row that I’m making it! What can I say? I’m a bit obsessed and for good reason. The chicken ALWAYS comes out insanely juicy on the inside, super crispy on the outside, and bursting with flavours throughout!

I’ve made this several times on my Instagram stories (you can see the saved stories on my YouTube Channel by clicking here). Even though I take people through the steps on the video, I still get asked on a daily basis to write up a blog post with the recipe. So, without further ado, here it is. I have even taken some step-by-step pictures of the spatchcocking process for anyone that is interested. I know, I’m nice like that 😉

Emergency Roast Chicken Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

Why I Love Emergency Roast Chicken

Part of the reason I make this so often is the sheer simplicity of the recipe. All you need is a high-quality chicken, fresh rosemary, salt, pepper, a roasting tray and a hot oven. Heck, you could probably even get away without the rosemary, but it does add a lot of flavour. While on the topic, you could substitute rosemary for thyme or sage, if the mood strikes you. But from the herbs I’ve tested (and I’ve tested many), rosemary has been my personal favourite. I encourage you to experiment and see which one you enjoy the most!

Emergency Roast Chicken Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

Use the Best Bird You Can Find

I really only have one rule when making Emergency Roast Chicken, and that is to use a high-quality, organic, free-range chicken that is fairly small in size (approx. 3-3.5lbs). There are 2 reasons for this:

  1. As mentioned, this recipe really only has 2 ingredients: chicken and rosemary. In other words, the chicken will have no flavours to hide behind and if it’s a poor-quality bird you’re going to taste it right away.
  2. The technique behind this chicken is two-fold. First we spatchcock (i.e. split the bird at the backbone) and then we roast it hard and fast (i.e. high heat for a short period time). If you try to roast a bird that is 5 or 6 lbs, or a capon that can be upwards of 8lbs, you run the risk of burning the outside before the inside has had a chance to cook. Also, I happen to think that smaller chickens taste better.

Emergency Roast Chicken Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

Other considerations when making Emergency Roast Chicken

  1. Parchment paper over tin foil:
    • I am always asked why I prefer parchment paper to tin foil and the reasons are quite simple. Tin foil has a tendency to tear and end up in your food, and rendered fat sometimes gets scorched on the surface.
  2. Roasting tray vs. pan:
    • You can get away with using a roasting tray (as pictured) to cook your Emergency Roast Chicken. However, if you have an oven-safe pan or skillet (ex. cast-iron) that will fit the spatchcocked chicken then feel free to use that and line it with parchment paper.
  3. Meat Thermometer:
    • Perhaps the most important tool for a perfectly roasted chicken. To accurately gauge whether or not your chicken is ready you will either need to take it’s temperature or slice into it to see if the juices run clear. The latter will render valuable juices in the bird that you worked so hard to develop. Trust me, buy a meat thermometer and you’ll never look back. I have been using this Javelin model by Lavatools and recommend it. It’s affordable and accurate.
  4. Kitchen Shears vs. Knife:
    • You’ll notice that I spatchcock the chicken using a sharp knife. However, please feel free to use a pair of sharp kitchen sheers if it makes you feel more comfortable.
  5. Half-Spatchcock vs. Full-Spatchcock
    • Personally, I am a fan of the half-spatchcock because:
    • The meat along the spine of the bird is absolutely delicious and I pick at it before serving the roasted chicken to family and friends
    • Keeping the spine attached on one side will provide more fat to render, which you will then use to baste the bird before broiling
    • I reserve the carcass and bones for homemade stock and bone broth and roasted bones are far more flavourful than raw, so it only makes sense to roast the spine along with the rest of the bird

Emergency Roast Chicken Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

Emergency Roast Chicken: Step-by-Step

Emergency Roast Chicken Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

Step 1: Rinse and pat chicken dry.

Emergency Roast Chicken Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

Step 2: lay bird flat, breast-side down on a cutting board.

Emergency Roast Chicken Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

Step 3: Using a sharp knife or kitchen sheers, slice along one side of the back bone.

Emergency Roast Chicken Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

Step 4: Continue until you have sliced all the way through and can pry the bird open.

Note: the bones are very sharp along the spine and can cut you if you are not careful.

Emergency Roast Chicken Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

Step 5: Pry the bird open.

Emergency Roast Chicken Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

Step 6: Use a sharp knife and make an incision in the breast plate – this will help to flatten the bird.

Emergency Roast Chicken Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

Step 7: Make an incision along the top of each breast so that you can locate and remove the wish bone with your fingers.

Emergency Roast Chicken Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

Step 8 (optional): Use your fingers to carefully dig the wish bone out. It’s not absolutely necessary to do this, but it does make it easier to carve the bird once it’s done cooking.

Note: the wishbone is often cracked and is very sharp. Be careful not to stab your fingers.

Emergency Roast Chicken Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

Step 9: Lay the bird cut-side down and firmly press the breasts down to flatten.

Emergency Roast Chicken Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

Step 10 (a): Tuck the wing tips behind the wings to prevent burning and to expose more skin from the breast.

Emergency Roast Chicken Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

Step 1o (b): do the same thing on the other side.

 Emergency Roast Chicken Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

Step 11: Season both sides with kosher salt, freshly-cracked black pepper and chopped, fresh rosemary.

Emergency Roast Chicken Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

Step 12: Lay chicken breast-side-up in a parchment-paper-lined roasting tray. Roast for 40-45min at 425F or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast reads 165F. Baste chicken with rendered juices, switch oven to broil and cook an additional 5-6 minutes. Remove from oven, let rest 5-10 min, carve and serve.

Emergency Roast Chicken Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

Emergency Roast Chicken - Paleo, Whole30

Emergency Roast Chicken is easy, quick, delicious and comes out perfect every single time. Try serving it with some of my famous Salsa Verde.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs 45 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 3-3.5 lbs organic free-range chicken
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh rosemary
  • kosher salt
  • freshly-cracked black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Rinse and pat chicken dry. Half-spatchcock the bird, leaving one side of the backbone intact. Season both sides with salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary. Lay chicken breast-side-up in a parchment-paper-lined roasting tray.
  • Roast for 40-45min or until thickest part of the breast registers 165F on an instant read meat thermometer.
  • Baste bird with rendered juices. Switch oven to max broil and cook an additional 5-6 minutes or until skin is crispy.
  • Transfer Emergency Roast Chicken to carving board, let rest 5-10min before carving. Serve with Uncle Ronny's Salsa Verde (see recipe here).
Keyword easy roast chicken, Emergency Roast Chicken, Whole30 Roast Chicken

23 replies on “Emergency Roast Chicken”

You can definitely add some ghee or other cooking fats of choice. However, I have found that it is unnecessary since the chicken skin will release so much of it’s own fat that you can then use to baste it with.

Could I follow this cooking time and recipe for a cornish hen also? (approx. 1.5-2 lb’s) Also, would using dry rosemary be as different from using fresh?

Yes, you can use the same method for cornish hens but they will likely cook in less time than chicken because of their smaller size. Fresh or dried herbs can be used. I am partial to fresh, when available. Happy cooking!

I’ve never tried a spatchcock chicken before. I followed your instructions and it worked great! Super juicy and flavorful! Will definitely try this method again. Thanks!

5 stars
I just made this from the cookbook and it was phenomenal. The chicken was perfectly cooked and the breast was juicy. It’s now my go to roast chicken recipe!

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Hey, I’m Ronny!

I’m a self-taught cook, food photographer, recipe blogger and coffee enthusiast.

 

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