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I once saw a meme that said: “I had no idea that as an adult, the only question I would think of for the rest of my life is ‘what am I having for dinner?'” This has stuck with me because, like death and taxes, it’s true.
For the entirety of our lives, most of us will need to figure out some sort of dinner each and every night. Add a family to that and it becomes even more to think about. Personally, I enjoy cooking so it’s my creative release after a long day. Call me odd, but I like some of the monotonous tasks, such as cleaning and cutting vegetables. While most days, I’m quite happy to cook, I do run into those times where I cannot think of… anything!
For those days, I always keep a chicken in the freezer. Why? Well, a roasting chicken can save the day. Roasting an entire chicken is super easy and takes very little time.
To make this even quicker and get dinner on the table sooner, I start by spatchcocking the chicken.
What is spatchcocking and why do we do it?
- Removes the backbone from the chicken.
- Freeze the backbone and use in a homemade stock.
- Flatten the chicken for even roasting.
- All meat roasts in the same amount of time without drying out.
- Allows potatoes to roast in the same amount of time
The best part of a spatchcocked chicken is the fact that when the chicken is flattened, the meat can all roast more evenly. Often when roasting in a traditional manner, the breast can end up being overcooked and dry.
To make this a sheet pan meal, I added baby potatoes. These are found by the other potatoes in the grocery store but are about a third the size of a full baking potato. This way, they cook in the time the chicken does.
When the chicken reaches the correct temperature, the meat needs to rest to reabsorb its juices. During the resting time, the potatoes are smashed for more roasted, crusty surface area, and the broccoli is added for a quick roast while the potatoes finish.
Altogether, this meal comes together in one hour. Meat and two sides on one pan, what could be better?! That is the perfect weeknight meal!
Watch how to make this sheet pan roasted chicken:
Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken with Smashed Potatoes
- 4-5 lb roasting chicken
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- 3 tbsp olive oil separated
- 2 ½ lb baby potatoes (2-4 inches in size) cut in half
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 425° F.
- In a small bowl, mix together the butter, mustard, garlic, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper. Set aside.
- Using a sharp large knife, remove the backbone from the chicken by cutting down both sides of the backbone. Flatten chicken, breaking the breast bone if necessary. Loosen the chicken skin from the meat being careful not to rip the skin. Work the butter mixture under the skin, and spread it over the meat. Work the mixture over the leg and thigh meat as well.
- Place the chicken, skin side up, on a baking sheet. Add the potatoes, cut side down, around the chicken. Drizzle the potatoes and the chicken with 2 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper. Roast in the preheated oven until the chicken registers 165°F and the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife, 35-45 minutes. Remove the chicken from the baking sheet and set it aside.
- Using the flat side of a water glass or measuring cup, press and smash the potatoes slightly. Add the broccoli with the potatoes and drizzle with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and return to oven until the broccoli is crisp-tender, 12-15 minutes.
- Cut the chicken to serve with potatoes and broccoli.