Succulent and juicy spatchcock chicken with the crispiest skin ever! All thanks to a few tricks including salting the chicken in advance and air-chilling in the fridge. You'll love the Eastern Mediterranean flavors here, but you can also change them up! Be sure to watch the video and check out out my step-by-step tutorial in the post
Spatchcock (butterfly) the chicken. Place the chicken on a cutting board with its backbone facing you. Using a pair of sturdy kitchen shears, cut out the backbone by cutting along both sides of the spine. Remove the backbone. Push down on the breasts to flatten the chicken. Flip the bird over and remove the wing tips. (See the step by step tutorial in the post showing how to spatchock chicken.) You can also ask your butcher to do it.
Salt the chicken. (If you have time, do this the night before). Place the chicken, breast side up, on a large cutting board. Push down on the breastbone. Generously season with kosher salt on both sides. Place the chicken, breast side up, on a shallow roasting dish. Refrigerate uncovered (you can leave it in the fridge to airchill for a couple of hours or overnight).
Bring the chicken to room temperature. One hour before you plan to roast it, pull the chicken out of the fridge and set at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fand adjust an oven rack right in the middle.
In a small dish, mix the spices. Season the chicken on both sides. Pull the skin up, and apply some of the spice mix underneath as well.
Sear the chicken. In a 12-inch cast iron skillet, add just enough extra virgin olive oil to coat the bottom. Heat over medium-high. As soon as the oil is shimmering, add the chicken, breast side down. Brown for 6-8 minutes, then flip over and brown on the other side another 5 minutes or so.
Roast the chicken. Transfer the cast iron skillet to the heated oven middle rack. Slide it all way to the back of the oven, with the handle of the pan facing left.
After 20 minutes, using oven mitts, carefully, turn the skillet 180 degrees so that the handle is now pointing right. Push to the back of the oven again. Roast for another 30 to 45 minutes, until the chicken is brown all over and the juices run clear or until the chicken is done and its internal temperature registers 165 degrees F.
Option to Add Vegetables. If you like, about 20 minutes or so before you pull the chicken out of the oven, add the tomato and onion to a small roasting dish. Toss with olive oil and salt. Place on the lower rack of the oven to roast. When done, add a handful of spicy green olives to the roasted veggies and serve with the chicken. (see more ideas for what to serve along)
Let rest before carving. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
When to salt the chicken. If you don't have time to salt the chicken and refrigerate overnight, do this as early as possible the day of (even 2 hours or so before cooking will help). Pat the chicken dry with paper towel before continuing on.