I can’t believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner. But it is approaching very fast. One of the most important things for my family during the holidays is actually spending time together. My grandma and I would always start prepping days before. Then we would wake up super early and start cooking so by the time everyone arrived, we can then spend time together. This Cajun spatchcock chicken is definitely the way to go if you don’t have a big family. The hardest part may be prepping the chicken for the oven. But other than that, it’s definitely way less work than a turkey. So if you aren’t feeling turkey this year, this chicken deserves a spot at the table.
Now, this year I’m struggling a bit because this is the very first holiday season we won’t be spending with our Grandmother. It is very difficult to even think about. She is currently back in Africa so this is the first year my siblings and I will start our own holiday traditions. But, her recipes are definitely going to be present.
Spatchcock chicken has always been a favorite of mine. Spatchcocking or butterflying a chicken doesn’t just cut down the cooking time. But, it also allows you to be more creative with the cooking process. All you need to spatchcock a chicken is a good pair of kitchen shears in order to remove the backbone. After removing the backbone, you can now flatten and open the chicken. This allows you to cook the bird in many different ways from the oven to the grill to pan frying.
I know there are some people who don’t always love the process of cooking a turkey. Which I completely understand. There is nothing wrong with switching things up every Thanksgiving. My family has always been into switching things up. We’ve done Cornish game hens, roasts, and even fish. So don’t be afraid to go beyond the norm. It’s fun and different. Give this Cajun spatchcock chicken a try and you won’t regret it. It is rubbed with yummy cajun spices roasted to perfection.
CAJUN SPATCHCOCK CHICKEN
WHOLE 30 II PALEO II KETO
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Spatchcock chicken rubbed with Cajun spices and roasted with root vegetables.
3–4 lb. Whole free-range chicken
1/2 lb. potatoes – quartered
a pinch of salt and pepper
1 tbsp. avocado oil
4 garlic cloves (finely minced)
1 1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. Korean red pepper flakes (or crushed red pepper flakes)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup melted ghee
To start, preheat the oven to 425˚ F.
Now, pat the chicken dry with a clean paper towel. Then, place the chicken breast side down on a cutting board/clean surface with the tail end towards you. Using kitchen shears to cut along one side of the backbone. Then, turn the chicken around and cut along the other side. Remove the backbone and save for soup or stock. Open the chicken like a book (breast side up). Using the heel of your palm, press firmly against the breastbone until it cracks.
In a small mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients for the spice rub. Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken making sure you get under the skin of the breasts and thighs. Tuck the wing tips under the chicken so it doesn’t burn.
Toss the potatoes with the avocado oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the chicken along with the potatoes on a large baking sheet.
Transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Now, lower the oven temperature to 400˚F and continue to cook the chicken and potatoes for 40-45 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through and crispy and an instant thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken breast or thigh reads 165-170 degrees F. Carve the chicken and serve with the pan drippings.
You can prep the chicken the night before by spatchcocking it and rubbing it with the spice rub then storing it in the fridge overnight and roasting the next day.
You can also add other root vegetables like carrots and parsnips or substitute the potatoes for sweet potatoes.
Keywords: Cajun spatchcock chicken dinner, sheet pan dinners