Roast chicken is simple to make, but difficult to master. I was tired of making picture perfect roast chicken and biting into the leg to find blood near the leg bone. Although cooked through, it always turned me off to roasting whole chickens (in addition to cleaning the damn roasting pan - ugh!). I read about butterflying (AKA spatchcocking) the chicken to get an even cook throughout the entire bird. The heat distributes evenly, doesn't dry out the breast, and all of the skin surface area gets crispy (instead of just the top of the bird). Grab your favorite spices, abandon your roasting pan (I used Pyrex this time around), and enjoy your spatchcock chicken (which was super easy to break down into 6-8 pieces).
4lb - Whole Chicken
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper (Coarse)
Fennel Seeds (grind them in your pepper mill with the pepper)
1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. With a chef knife, run your knife down both sides of the backbone to remove it (you can save the backbone for stock or toss it). Grab the legs and invert the chicken inside out and lay it flat.
2) Season the chicken and massage it with olive oil thoroughly.
3) Roast the chicken for an hour and a half. Baste it constantly with a pastry brush to maintain a lacquered look (add more olive oil if there isn't enough chicken juice).
4) Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes and divide it up into easy to cut portions (leg/thigh, wings, breast).