Kat Cline is the author and sole recipe creator at The Primordial Table, a food blog that focuses on mostly Autoimmune Protocol-compliant dishes. She is a total foodie and loves to prepare, cook, and eat all kinds of food, focusing on enjoying the preparation, process, and of course, each and every bite. She is using her love of food to control her psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and other autoimmune-related disorders, to heal her body, and to bring new creative recipes to the Autoimmune Protocol community. You can read more about her journey to AIP here: Why I Eat AIP and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Whole chickens are pretty awesome when you’re following the Autoimmune Protocol, because you cook one (or even two if you’re smarter than me and think ahead), and you’ve got several different cuts of meat that are super versatile for incorporating in other dishes throughout the week or making great leftovers. Chicken salad, chicken soup, a quick breakfast or lunch, an easy dinner…you get the idea. The problem with whole chickens is that sometimes they just take way too long to cook; most recipes call for over an hour in the oven.
That’s why I love spatchcock chicken. Say what? Spatchcock chicken. While the word spatchcock sounds crazy and fancy and gourmet all at once (and yes it looks it too, so feel free to invite all your friends over to your ritzy dinner party), the chicken simply has the backbone removed and then the breastbone is flattened so that it cooks faster and more evenly. Not only is it super easy, it only takes about a minute to spatchcock your bird. And this particular flavor combo is a winner; it’s rich and tasty enough to eat as the main dish, but not so overpowering that you can’t add it in to other meals later.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Servings: 4-6
- 1 3-4 lb whole chicken
- Sea salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1½ tbsp dried lavender buds
- 1 tbsp dried rosemary leaves
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1-2 tbsp cooking fat of choice (bacon fat, tallow, coconut oil, etc)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. With the bird resting breast-side down, cut along both sides of the backbone with sturdy kitchen shears. You will be removing an approximate 1-1½ inch strip from the center of the backside of the chicken. Flip the chicken over and spread it out, pushing on the middle of the breast bone to break it and flatten the bird. Your bird will now look like this:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, lavender buds, rosemary leaves, EVOO, and honey. This mixture should be paste-like. If it’s too thick, add more EVOO until it is a fairly wet, paste-like mixture (think chunky glue). Rub a third of the mixture under the skin of the chicken, being careful not to remove the skin completely. Sprinkle all of the outsides well with salt, and then coat the rest of the herb mixture onto the breast side of the chicken. Make sure to cover as much chicken as possible. In a large cast iron skillet (large enough to fit the bird while flat), heat up your fat of choice over medium high heat. When the skillet is sufficiently hot, place the chicken breast-side down in the pan for 3-4 minutes to create a nice crisp crust on the skin. Flip the bird with a pair of tongs, placing breast side up into the pan. Put the skillet into the oven for 35-45 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165°F at the juiciest part of the thigh. Carefully remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- I like to serve this dish with my AIP-compliant Roasted Broccoli & Garlic and the Paleo Mom’s Maple-Braised Butternut Squash.
*Because the flattened chicken allows for a shorter roasting time, feel free to add chopped broccoli, cauliflower, or brussels sprouts to the skillet before placing in the oven. Turn the veggies halfway through cooking time. This makes a great one pot meal.
**Don’t forget to save your backbone/leftover chicken bones for homemade broth!