Roast Chicken, and observations on simplicity.


BLE compliant; low sodium; low carb; gluten free

There are volumes written on enjoying the simple things in life, there are also volumes written on cooking the perfect roast chicken. But why are there no books written on both, you know, together? If you really think about it, they reside together on the same plane of existence. Ha, you say!

It’s true, really. What couldn’t be more simple, yet wonderful than a perfectly roasted chicken? If you were to ask some of the finest chefs in not only the United States, but all over the world what their favorite meal is, you would be surprised how many answer a nice roast chicken. They spend their days and nights preparing beautiful works of art that take gobs of work. The process of getting an idea from their head all the way to our plates is staggering. Did you think they would go home and cook the same way for themselves or their family? Not very often, usually falling back on more simple dishes…such as a perfectly roast chicken.

For some, cooking is stressful and yet for others it is a form of meditation. For example, my wife refers to herself as a “disaster” in the kitchen, whereas for me it is my dojo. Simple things for one, and a burden for another. For me the simplicity of creating a perfectly roast chicken, is just one way I step back from a stressful week. Different strokes for different folks I suppose. In any event I am going to show you two simple, healthy and delicious roast chicken recipes.

Skillet Roast Chicken

Serves 4


Note: You will need a good pair of kitchen shears for this recipe, and a cast iron skillet.

  • 1 4-5 pound chicken, giblets, neck (freeze for chicken stock) and excess fat removed
  • Dry rub: garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, paprika, black pepper, and twice the amount of salt versus the spices.
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil


Place chicken on cutting board breast side down, using kitchen shears cut alongside back bone all the way through, repeat on the other side of the back bone to completely remove it (freeze with giblets). Turn chicken over, and fold the wings underneath the breast and press down firmly to flatten out. This process is called spatchcocking, and helps both in cooking time and evenness of cooking. Crush spices together, and rub thoroughly all over chicken. Place chicken on sheet pan, and place uncovered in the fridge for at least four hours and can be overnight. Be sure to take the chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking.

When you are ready to cook, preheat oven to 400, and heat skillet over medium heat. Add oil, and when it starts to shimmer add the chicken breast side down, and tuck the thighs into the pan as much as possible (you can put a sheet pan underneath to catch any drips while in the oven). Cook until the breast is a deep golden brown, flip the chicken so it is now breast side up. Cook in the oven until the thickest part of the thigh reads 175F, and the breast should be 165F. Allow the chicken to rest on a cutting board for 20 minutes before carving. I remove and discard the skin for myself, although my daughter loves it, and just enjoy the juicy chicken with a simple salad.

Whole Roast Chicken

Serves 4


  • 1 4-5 pound whole chicken, giblets, neck (freeze for stock) and excess fat removed.
  • 1 lemon halved
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 quart hot water + 2 cups ice water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • fresh herbs, such as rosemary, sage, and thyme
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


Combine hot water and salt in a large container (to hold chicken and liquid), stirring until salt is dissolved, add herbs and cold water. When the water is completely cooled, place chicken inside and allow to brine for at least 4 hours and up to overnight. Once the needed time has passed, remove chicken from brine and discard brine. Pat dry, and place in fridge, uncovered, on a wire rack for an hour or two. Preheat oven to 400F, stuff halved lemons and garlic in cavity of chicken, and brush oil over the breast and thighs/drums, sprinkle cracked black pepper. Bake for one hour in a pan with a rack in it and take temp. You might need more time so keep checking every 15 minutes until done (175F in thigh). Treat the same way as the recipe above, resting before carving and discarding the skin. I usually roast some root veggies along with this dish, carrots, parsnips, etc.

See, simple and elegant. The way life should be.

Cheers, Blue

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