Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken and Fingerlings
The classic roasted chicken and potatoes dinner has never been easier or more delicious! Spatchcock-ing the bird reduces cooking time and makes for a coveted, crispy skin all over while fingerling potatoes caramelize in the juices. And it all takes place on one sheet pan.
Blessed mother of crispy skin- I am SO EXCITED to share this recipe with you today. I’ve done it. I have conquered the roasted chicken, and it is crispy, and juicy, and perfect, and EASY. For a long time, I avoided roasting my own chicken- I just didn’t see the point when I could buy a fresh rotisserie chicken and call it a day. I still have great respect for the rotisserie chicken as a shortcut to things like chicken pot pie and chicken noodle soup. I guess I just didn’t know how good a homemade roasted chicken could be. Now I do, and it took every ounce of marital devotion I have within me to not eat all of that beautiful skin myself in 8 seconds.
This all-in-one dinner has so much going for it. I went for a rotisserie-style rub featuring a large heap of one of my favorite-favorite secret ingredients, smoked paprika, which gives the insanely crispy skin its deep flavor and color. Lemon slices under the spatchcocked chicken keep the undercarriage moist during roasting and the flavor bright and mouth-watering. Halved fingerling potatoes are added to the sheet pan midway through roasting the chicken, and caramelize in the tantalizing pan juices. It all happens on one pan, which makes cleanup a snap. I love that part.
So, what the heck is spatchcock? Well, it’s a bit creepy, really. What you do is set the raw chicken on its belly and snip out the entire spine along both sides using kitchen shears. Then you roll that baby open, breast side up, and press down to flatten. Why on earth should you do this? Because in doing so, it increases the surface area, which has three incredible benefits: A) no truss, no fuss B) all of the skin faces up, so all of the skin gets crispy, C) cooking time is vastly reduced, which D) keeps the meat moist as heck. Here’s a step-by-step:
It’s mid-November and so I know what you’re thinking- can I do this to a turkey? Yes, yes you can! Some great tips on cooking times and carving a spatchcock turkey can be found here, on Serious Eats.
Now, I am decided that this chicken is perfectly perfect without gravy…BUT, you will have just enough pan juices after roasting to whip up a quick and easy pan gravy. It’s not needed, but it really takes it over the top. So there it is! My new favorite family dinner, my gift to you, just in time for your weekend grocery shopping (and Thanksgiving!).
- 5 to 6 lb. whole roasting chicken
- 3 T. olive oil, divided
- salt and pepper
- 2 t. smoked paprika
- 1/2 t. garlic powder
- 1/2 t. onion powder
- 1/2 t. chili powder
- 1/8 t. cayenne pepper
- 1 lemon, sliced in 1/4" rounds
- 1 lb. fingerling potatoes (or other small yellow or red potatoes)
- Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Combine smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Rinse chicken with cool water, inside and out, and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Lay breast-side down on a clean surface (I cut up a paper grocery bag so it lays flat, and then throw away after prepping chicken). Using a sharp pair of kitchen shears, snip along one side of the spine from end to end. Repeat on other side of spine, then discard spine or save for stock. Flip chicken over, breast-side up. Use your hands to press down on the breasts until the chicken lays flat.
- Drizzle chicken with 2 T. olive oil and spread around entire outer surface of chicken. Season chicken evenly with salt and pepper, then apply spice mixture evenly all over the skin (don't forget the arm-pits).
- Arrange lemon slices in a circle (roughly the size of your chicken) in the middle of a rimmed sheet pan or cookie sheet. Transfer seasoned chicken on top of lemon slices.
- Roast chicken for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the fingerling potatoes in half and toss with remaining 1 T. olive oil. Pull the chicken out of the oven after 30 minutes. Use a pastry brush to baste the skin with rendered pan juices. Arrange potatoes on the sheet pan, cut-side down, around the chicken. Roast for another 30-35 minutes, or until chicken's internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Transfer chicken and potatoes to a serving platter and cover loosely with foil and rest 10 minutes before serving.