If there’s one dish that my house keeps coming back to each and every week, it’s One Skillet Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Onions.
It’s an easy go-to meal that’s a cinch to prep and delivers an amazing dinner every time.
How to spatchcock (or butterfly) a chicken
The hardest part of creating this meal is spatchcocking the chicken — but once you learn how to do it, you’ll never need to relearn the steps!
What is spatchcocking?
Yes, the term is silly. Spatchcocking is a way of preparing chicken (or other poultry) for cooking.
Essentially, you’ll cut the backbone out of the bird and snip the cartilage of the breastbone so you can “flatten” the chicken.
It’s absolutely my preferred way of preparing chicken for roasting — it makes the cooking time faster AND, since the thighs and breasts are more level, both the white and dark meat turn out juicy. Typically, it’s all too easy to overcook the white meat of a whole chicken, since it usually takes longer for the thigh meat to reach the proper temperature. With spatchcocked chicken, that problem is all but elimanted.
I even spatchcock my Thanksgiving turkey — and it’s the only way my poultry-hating father has ever enjoyed the big bird.
How to spatchcock a chicken
So, let’s get into actually spatchcocking the chicken!
Remove any giblets that may be inside the cavity of the chicken. Starting at the bottom of the chicken, hold the tail end and use a sharp kitchen shears to cut alongside the backbone. The tail gives you a good indication of where the backbone is, so use that as your guide.
You may run into a bit of resistance towards the top of the ribcage, but ultimately if you’re close enough to the backbone it should be fairly smooth.
Once you’ve cut all the way along one side, cut the other side of the backbone to remove it completely. Although, to be honest, I often just cut one side and leave the back attached. The chicken will be a little unlevel but nothing major — plus, the backbone is one of my favorite parts to eat!
Why this one skillet roasted chicken works
There are reasons we keep coming back to this meal as a weeknight favorite.
It’s all made in one skillet.
I don’t need to elaborate much on why one skillet recipes are so awesome. Prep AND cleanup are a breeze with this recipe!
The juices from the chicken make the potatoes and onions IRRESISTABLE.
As the chicken cooks up top, the juices and rendered fat will drip down and add a boost of flavor to the onions and potatoes as they brown below. It’s truly a killer combo!
You can sub in other hearty veggies
Have some cabbage or carrots to use up? Toss those into the bottom of the skillet and the chicken juices/fat will work its magic in the same way.
Some other hearty veggie ideas that would work well for this meal:
- sweet potatoes
More one skillet recipes to bookmark for later
- One Skillet Lemon Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes
- One Skillet Chicken Cutlets with Mushroom Sauce
- Quick Thai Red Curry Beef Tenderloin Skillet
- Skillet Pizza Chicken
- One Skillet Pork Chops with Apples & Onions
If you’d like, substitute in other hearty veggies in place of the potatoes. You can also use duck fat in place of extra virgin olive oil!
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 tablespoon kosher sea salt
- 3 medium-large russet potatoes, washed
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Prep the chicken first, preferably up to a day before cooking. Remove the giblets (if included) and use sharp kitchen shears to remove the back of the chicken. To do this, locate the stubby end of the tail, then cut alongside the backbone all the way up to the neck. Repeat on the other side of the backbone. Save the backbone for broth or cook it alongside the rest of the chicken. Flip the chicken over and use the kitchen shears to snip the cartilage of the breastbone. Push down on either side of the chicken to snap the breastbone and help flatten out the chicken. Season the spatchcocked chicken generously with kosher salt, both outside the skin and underneath. Refrigerate the salted chicken on a plate or in a large bowl up to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and move an oven rack to the middle. Cut the russet potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Thinly slice the yellow onion. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion and cubed potatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes have softened somewhat and the onions have browned. Remove from heat.
- Place the spatchcocked chicken on top of the potato and onion mixture. Tuck the wings of the chicken under the skin of the breasts to prevent them from burning. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over the chicken, and use your fingers to rub it all over the skin. Transfer the entire skillet to the oven and roast for 40 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the oven and let rest for about 5 minutes. Carefully transfer the chicken to a plate or cutting board and break down into thighs, wings, and breasts. Serve with potatoes and onion from the skillet.