A spatchcocked chicken is ideal for weeknight cooking, giving you all the flavor and parts of a whole roast chicken in nearly half the time. To spatchcock a whole chicken, cut along one side of the backbone with sharp kitchen shears, starting at the tailbone and ending at the neck, until the chicken opens. Repeat on the other side until the backbone is free. (Discard or save for making stock). Now the interior of the breastbone is exposed. Use the tip of a sharp knife and make a small score down the center - this is optional but will make the next step easier. Press down firmly with your hands until you hear the breastbone pop and the chicken lays flat.
For extra crispy and delicious chicken skin, plan a little bit ahead. Salt the chicken as directed, then transfer to the refrigerator, uncovered, for 24 hours. This “dry brine” step will draw out excess moisture in the skin without drying out the meat. Pat dry one more time and proceed as directed.
This recipe utilizes a very high oven temperature, which allows the chicken to cook quickly and get that signature crispy skin. If you know that your oven runs hot and strong, try at 475˚F.