Roasted Butterflied Chicken w. Onions & Carrots

I was over at my in-laws' place one time and we somehow got on the topic of best smells. Bacon, freshly-mowed grass, frying onions, baking bread, the beach—all the usual suspects were mentioned. Then my father-in-law named his favorite smell: "Roasting chicken." We all kind of laughed but you know what? He's right! Roasting chicken smells ridiculously good. And it tastes even better.

Roasted chicken is great in other ways, too. It's the perfect family-friendly meal: affordable, simple, crowd-pleasing. And, when you butterfly (a.k.a. spatchcock) your chicken before roasting it, then it's also a pretty darn quick meal.

You can butterfly the chicken by yourself, if you have a decent pair of kitchen shears. Martha Stewart has some nice step-by-step pictures. I usually just ask my butcher to do it; just make sure you keep the backbone to use for making stock later.

This simple recipe is adapted from Deliciously Organic; she, too, has some nice instructions on butterflying the chicken.

serves 4
  • 1 4-5 lb chicken, preferably free-range
  • 2 cups carrots, sliced diagonally about 3/4" thick
  • 2 large red onions, cut into wedges
  • 3 Tbsp ghee (or butter or coconut oil), softened
  • 1 Tbsp ghee, melted
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Herbes de Provence (or dried rosemary)
  • sea salt (I used this Garlic Medley Sea Salt that I love)
  • freshly-ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place rack in middle position. Place chicken in a large roasting pan; I line the pan with parchment paper to make for an easier clean-up. Mix softened ghee with dried herbs and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Using your fingers, spread this mixture all over the skin and under the skin of the breasts. 

Raw chicken: not so pretty. Just wanted to give you an idea of how
I spread the ghee all over and set up the veggies.

Place the vegetables in a large bowl. Pour the melted ghee over the onions and carrots, tossing gently to ensure they are evenly coated. Place the vegetables around the chicken in the roasting pan. Sprinkle additional salt and pepper over everything.

Roast chicken for 30 minutes, then stir the carrots a bit and rotate the pan 180 degrees. Continue to roast about 25 more minutes. The chicken should be golden and crispy and a food thermometer should read 160°F (70°C) when inserted into the breast's thickest part. Remove the pan from the oven, tent the chicken with foil to keep it warm, and let it rest for about 15 minutes before carving.

Kids might balk at the idea of eating a bunch of onions but...these onions are wonderfully caramelized, incredibly sweet, and tender. If your kiddos try them, I bet they'll like them.

My son requested that we add peas to the meal. Of course, I said yes!

Any leftover chicken can be used in soups, sandwiches, salads. Gotta love versatile leftovers!


  1. I love spatchocking! It *is* pretty easy to do yourself but I always to have be careful that I don't accidentally cut out the backbone and breastbone entirely...

  2. This was a huge hit in our house! My son asked for seconds. Thanks - very very tender and tasty!

  3. So happy to hear that!

  4. I've done it's just so dang easy to ask the butcher to do it ;-)


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