This really came about because I asked Butcher to cut my chicken in 1/2 and when I got home I saw he cut it into 8’s. I am not going to throw away the chicken so had to think quickly what to do with it. While there are a lot of recipes out there I just really wanted a simple roast chicken. This came out very tasty and I will share with you what I did. Perfect weeknight meal or any night meal.
My trick with chicken is this — if you have the time. I try to shop in the morning or the day before so I will have my meal ready for cooking at the end of the day. I then pat dry the chicken and Salt it and put in a plastic bag in the refrigerator , I remove from plastic about an hour before I want to cook so it comes to room temperature. It’s sort of a dry brine but no other spices. It really does make a difference , obviously none of us always have the time for this step and that’s perfectly OK. It’s not necessary but I think it makes a difference. And invest in a meat thermometer it is a valuable kitchen tool.
1 whole chicken cut into 8’s — 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs, and 2 wings — I have butcher remove the backbone. Any supermarket butcher will do this just ask.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
*Paprika — I always use this because I love the way it tastes and looks but totally optional
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
If you have the time –pat chicken dry and salt and let it sit in fridge in a bowl or a bag for a few hours or up to overnight.
If you’re not doing ahead just proceed from here– pat dry chicken –rub olive oil all over the chicken pieces and I spray the bottom of my roasting pan with cooking spray and then drizzle a little olive oil on the bottom of the pan and spread with a brush or just move it around. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and paprika. If you already salted go a little lighter with the salt but you’ll still need to salt. Chicken needs a lot of salt.
Arrange the chicken pieces in the pan so that all the pieces are skin side up, and the largest pieces ( breasts) are in the center of the pan. (see photo)
Don’t crowd the pan. Allow room in between the pieces for heat to circulate. See photos my chicken . Go with a larger baking dish if you have it — best for there to be room in between pieces to allow for even heat circulation between the pieces.
Bake the chicken uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. This initial high will help brown the chicken.
Then lower heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 10-30 minutes depending on your oven etc. If you remove the breast check the temp. and juices should run clear ( not pink) when poked with a sharp knife. Internal temp of breast should be 165 degrees and thighs 170 degrees.
If chicken isn’t browned enough , place under the broiler for a few minutes. I did this for the last 3 minutes. You may want to for 5 minutes until browned sufficiently.
Let the Chicken rest for 5 – 10 minutes. I tented with aluminum foil.
I served with fresh cranberry sauce, honey roasted carrots and parmesan roasted potatoes.