Butterflied Roast Chicken

It would be a shock if we went a week without planning some sort of chicken dish. Yep, even we food bloggers will take a breather once in a while and just cook something a bit mindless. Chicken is easy: throw it in the oven with salt and pepper, maybe some herbs, and in 45 minutes it comes out beautifully browned and crispy. We know many of you out there also love the simplicity of a basic chicken dish – but we always fear that it can get a bit…. boring.
We took the opportunity a few weeks ago to think outside the box with our roasting chicken to see if we could jazz it up a bit. Back in October when we had our book release party, Stacy (who writes Paleo Parents) came to visit us, as did Diane (of Balanced Bites fame). Aside from bringing the adorable little Paleo kiddie Finian, Stacy also brought us some apple butter, pumpkin butter, and duck fat. Talk about a great house guest… which reminds me, we need to start requesting gourmet condiments of our future guests!
Thanks to Stacy, we’ve been using that duck fat in dishes this fall with great success. We melted down the duck fat and mixed in some of our favorite herbs (thyme and garlic), and created a blissfully simple herb rub for the chicken. To prepare the bird, we butterflied it ala Modern Paleo Warfare’s method: (rated R for violence and adult situations)
[Video Credit: Modern Paleo Warfare]
After getting the bird to lay flat via Finn and Greg’s method, we then separated the skin and rubbed the herb and duck fat mixture underneath it. To prepare the chicken for roasting, we made a small slit in the skin and pulled the drumsticks through to keep them neatly in place during cooking. We roasted it at a screaming-hot 500 degrees for 30 minutes, then backed it down to 450 for an additional 20-30 minutes. It was during the making of this recipe that we realized just how poorly ventilated our new kitchen is. Cooking anything at 500 degrees is bound to create a little bit of smoke, but in this case the smoke was so worth it because the chicken skin gets divinely crispy from the intense heat. So next time you want to make a simple roasted chicken for dinner, use these few twists to dress it up for a midweek gourmet meal.
  • 1 pastured chicken, butterflied
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • fresh thyme, minced
  • duck fat
  • salt and pepper
  1. Rinse chicken under cool water and pat dry.
  2. Place chicken on a cutting board breast side down, and remove the back bone with kitchen scissors or a sharp knife. Freeze back bone for future stock if desired.
  3. Turn chicken over and press down on chicken until you hear bones crack slightly so that the chicken lays flat.
  4. Melt 2 tablespoons duck fat and stir in minced garlic and thyme.
  5. Sprinkle in salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
  6. Carefully lift the skin of the chicken to create a space to stuff the duck fat and herbs.
  7. Rub duck fat mixture all over the chicken under the skin being sure to cover as much of the breasts and legs as possible.
  8. Flip chicken over and rub duck fat over the bone side, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  9. Flipping the chicken back over, rub the breast side entirely with duck fat, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  10. Place on a baking sheet, breast side up, and bake at 500 for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn heat down to 450 and bake for a remaining 20-30 minutes.
As always, enjoy!
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    1. December 31, 2011

      Is that really supposed to be 30 minutes at 500 degrees? At 25 minutes my chicken was done and the oven was full of smoke.

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