A few simple tricks deliver some of the best home-roasted chicken you’ve ever had: spatchcocking (butterflying), pre-salting, roasting at a super low oven temp, and quickly crisping the skin on the stovetop. We focus on the technique here—use this same method with any of your favorite roast chicken flavorings, such as fresh herbs, lemon, or spices. Spatchcocked poultry cooks more quickly and evenly. If you’d prefer not to spatchcock the bird yourself, just have your butcher do it. Place the chicken on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator, and make sure no liquids escape from the uncovered dish to avoid cross-contamination.

Photo: Greg Dupree

This technique for dry-brined, slow-roasted chicken keeps the meat incredibly juicy and rotisserie-tender and lets you crisp the skin to your heart's content.

Tim Cebula
August 04, 2017

Step 1: Spatchcock the Bird

Photo: Greg Dupree

With the chicken bread-side down, use kitchen  shears to cut along both sides of the backbone, and remove it. Flip the chicken breast-side up, and then press down on the breasts until bones crack and the bird lays flat.

Step 2: Salt & Air-Chill

Photo: Greg Dupree

Rub salt evenly into the meat under the skin. The salt penetrates deeply into the meat and seasons the chicken over several hours, as with a wet brine. The advantage here: The chicken isn't underwater, so the skin dries as it chills, making it easier to brown and crisp in a pan later.

Step 3: Roast Low & Slow

Photo: Greg Dupree

Roasting at 200°F keeps the meat from seizing up and squeezing our lots of juice, a risk you run with high oven temps. The chicken's temperature rises slowly, so you're less likely to overcook it. And roasting it skin-side up dries the skin even more before the pan-browning.

Step 4: Brown & Crisp

Photo: Greg Dupree

Unlike with whole chickens, it's easy to sear the skin on a spatchcocked bird. Just a few minutes sizzling in a hot pan will yield crunchy, golden skin without overcooking the meat.

View Recipe: Slow-Roasted Chicken

You can ask your supermarket butcher to spatchcock (butterfly) the chicken for you. Pair the bird with fresh citrus and aromatic herbs.