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Roast Chicken

If you happen to be the type that gets the heebie jeebies from bone crunching, spine slicing, or joint snapping you might want to zip to the bottom of this post, or skip this post.   NO! no, no!  No post skipping just  toughen up while I show you how to butcher a bird.  Deep breath you can do it!  Roast chicken is super adaptable and one of the easiest ways to get dinner on the table.  There is nothing more delicious or versatile.

Roast Chicken can be  a one pan dinner; by tossing potatoes, carrots, or any root vegetable around the chicken while it’s baking.  If you really want to get inventive lay the chicken on top of lemon slices and fresh thyme. sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  While the chicken is roasting you can be throwing together a salad pouring yourself a glass of wine.  See what I’m saying?  It’s a no fuss no muss dinner….well spine removal, if you call muss, but honestly this is an easy meal!

The leftovers from the chicken can be used to make soup, chicken salad or a casserole for later in the week, but if your family is like mine you might need to roast two chickens if you want any leftovers.  I’ve included links below to some satisfying ways to use up leftover roast chicken.

So here is how I cut up my cheeckin’…..remember this is not for the faint of heart.  You’ve been warned.  Buyer beware…or something of that nature.


Place your bird breast down on a cutting board, locate the neck.

Once you have located the neck, place the palm of your hand firmly on the birds back bone just south of the neck and press down until you hear a CRACK!  Poultry chiropractics.  By doing this you have separated the ribs from the spine or loosened them, making it easier to cut the back bone out.


 Take hold of the neck and using a very sharp knife cut along one side of the back bone.



Now move to the tail end and do the same meeting in the middle.



At this point you can flip the bird skin side down and taking your knife carefully run it under the ribs cutting them clean out!



Not give him (your cheecken) another flip and cut down the other side of the back bone.  Now you have is a spineless cheeken.



Cut off any excess fat or skin. If you like you can freeze the back bone to use for making homemade chicken stock.



Drizzle roasting pan with olive oil place bird skin side up in pan drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with season salt or simply salt and pepper.  Place in preheated 425 degree oven for 1 hour.



If you would like to continue joint jerking, bone cracking, and sternum severing well then you can continue on and cut the bird into pieces for roasting, grilling, or frying.  Use your fingers to feel where the joints are, then use your muscle to separate them, once the joints are separated it’s easy to get your knife in between and cut the leg from the thigh, and the wings from the breast, and so on and so forth and what have you……

Fact: When you buy chicken whole and cut it up yourself you save $$.


Now if that isn’t finger licken good I don’t know what is!



Flat Roasted Chicken
1 Roasting Chicken
Olive Oil
Seasoning of your choice (Salt and Pepper are perfect!)
a sharp knife

1. Lie the bird breast side down, locate the neck press the palm of your hand into the back bone just below the neck and press down firmly….essentially cracking the birds back and separating the ribs from the spine.

2. Grab hold of the neck and feel along the back bone, place a very sharp knife along one side of the back bone and cut from the neck down along the spine all the way to the tail.

EGADS! I know this is gruesome…don’t think about it. Go to your happy place!

3. Now do the same on the other side.  Once your bird is spine free slide your knife under the ribs and remove them from the back bone.

If you make  stock you can place the back bone in a zip-loc bag and freeze it for later.



Need a few NEW ideas for DINNER?  Here are some of my favorite ways to use roast chicken.

Chinese Chicken Salad ~ from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles

Roast Chicken Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes ~ Add a Pinch

BBQ Chicken Tortilla Pizza ~ I Wash You Dry

Caesar Chicken Noodle Salad

Chicken Pot Pie or Chicken and Biscuits

Chicken Enchiladas Verde


confession: I am a wanna be stock maker. I want to make homemade chicken stock, but I never do!! I once cleaned 7 chicken spines out of my freezer because I thought one day I would make stock!  It was sort of a gruesome freezer cleaning project.  I rather buy chicken stock. It’s quick, and easy. Now you know who I really am,  I’m a lazy spine tossing loser.


So now that you know that about me I need to know this about you….

What’s your favorite way to prepare chicken?

Do you butcher your own bird or are you spineless? ; )

Luvya, Sheila

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  1. Hi Sheila! Love this! I could not live without flat chicken on the grill in the summer! One of my favorite ways to cook chicken!
    Side note: You would love making your own stock. I am a stock junkie! I make chicken, turkey, asparagus, even lobster stock. It has completely taken my soups to a new level. My advice…On a lazy Saturday or Sunday, take all those chicken spines and throw them in your crockpot with onion, garlic, carrot, bay leaves, whatever you have on hand. Let it go all day. Your house will smell LOVELY and you will have two to three containers of awesome stock. 🙂

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