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  • Writer's pictureBethany Heintz

FarmHouse Kitchen Flat-Roasted Chicken

Updated: Mar 10, 2022

"This may be my favourite whole roasted chicken recipe...ever!"

There are so many ways to cook a chicken and I know I've done hundreds, maybe even thousands over the years.

Flat roasting (aka spatch-cocking) means cutting the backbone out the whole chicken and 'unfolding' the bird to make it lay flat, without a cavity, in your pot or pan.

This means your whole bird will cook in much less time than your traditional chicken.

Hello, feeding teenage boys! Supper on the table in a hurry is of significant importance!

Otherwise, I end up finding them underfoot in my kitchen, eating a sandwich while they're making themselves a sandwich.

I hate long intro's that you have to scroll through to get to the recipe so, without further ado, let's "Jump to Recipe"!!


Serves 2-3 teenagers, 4-6 hungry folks, or 6-8 kiddies with their parents


  • 1 whole chicken 4-6lb, (backbone removed, opposite side to the breastmeat)

  • Course salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled (optional)

  1. Preheat your oven to 400'F. Use kitchen or poultry shears to cut the backbone out of your raw bird. This is done by turning the bird front side down and cutting up either side of the backbone from tail to neck. Save this for amazing broth!

  2. Flip the bird onto its back and open the chicken's legs, spreading the bird while letting the wings angle in toward the centre of the breast and the 'knees pointing toward each other'. Press down with the heel of your hand on the breastbone to flatten the bird further - you should feel a crunch with this. Pat dry with a paper towel. Season well with salt and pepper.

  3. Heat olive oil, butter and garlic together over medium heat in a heavy bottomed frypan large enough to fit the whole bird. Allow the butter to brown but not burn. Add the chicken, skin side down to the pan and let it fry (don't move it!) in the oil/butter/garlic mix for 3-4 minutes, until the skin is browned nicely. Without tearing the skin (if it starts to tear, it needs more time), transfer carefully to a roaster, or - if your pan is oven safe such as cast iron - simply flip the chicken over skin side up. Transfer to the hot oven, uncovered.

  4. Depending on the size of your bird, the timing of when it is done will vary. A meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh (not touching bone) will be reassuring in knowing when your chicken has come up to 165'F internally. This usually takes 45-50min for a 3-4lb bird but may be longer for a larger bird. Pull out of the oven and let rest for about 10 min before carving. Remember to look for the juices running clear in a thick part of the chicken, near a bone.

  5. Best part? Drippings!! Drizzle these over the chicken to add further flavour to your meal or cut up some crusty sourdough and dip it in the pan.

- Oh My Stars, Sooo Good!!

Leftovers make great sandwiches, salads, soups, tacos or stock.

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