This sheet pan spatchcock honey mustard roasted chicken with root vegetable puree is comfort food heaven. It’s an easy paleo roasted chicken recipe that comes together quickly with very little prep time and plenty of leftovers.
One of the things I’ve struggled with throughout the Minimalist Foodie Challenge is my chicken limitations. Y’all know I love my whole roasted chicken, but I’ve been missing quick and easy (not to mention fast) bone-in chicken weeknight dinners. I’ve got a serious craving for Chicken with 40 Cloves. The heart (or in this case, the gullet) wants what it can’t have.
Enter Occam’s Razor – the simplest solution is the best solution. Cut up the dang chicken. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I’ve never butchered a whole chicken before now. It’s neither fear nor curiosity that’s held me back, but the simple fact that I’m a fairly lazy home cook – I like delicious, but I really like easy. My local market sells local pastured bone-in chicken pieces. Easy!
Alas, the time has come for me to learn this most essential skill, so naturally I took the most hassle free option and started with this spatchcock version of Thyme Honey Mustard Roasted Chicken. Have you ever spatchcocked a chicken? It’s pretty straightforward, and the only tool you need is a decent pair of kitchen shears. I didn’t have any, so I sucked up the $20 and got to work.
The result? I can’t believe I waited this long. This bird cooked up pretty quickly (comparatively) and was moist and tender throughout with uber crispy skin. Bonus – it was really easy to carve. Definitely a winner. Definitely gonna do it again.
Thyme Honey Mustard Roasted Chicken Recipe Notes
Delicious doesn’t need to be complicated as evidenced by this super straightforward thyme honey mustard roasted chicken marinade. Fresh thyme, local honey, whole grain mustard, a lemon, and a little salt n’ peppa. I sliced open the skin along the breast where it meets the thigh and rubbed some sauce under the skin. This was a good move if I do say so myself.
After I roasted the bird for 20 minutes at 450, I reduce the oven temperature to 325 and added some skinned and diced root vegetables to the baking sheet. These roasted up perfectly with the chicken. When they were finished I pureed them with a little bit of cream, salt and pepper while the chicken rested.
Substitutions. I really love this recipe with thyme – it’s bright and aromatic and chicken’s perfect companion. I’d love to try tarragon next time I make this. For the root vegetables, I used butternut squash and sweet potatoes because that’s what I had. Fennel, rutabaga, carrots, parsnips – these are all fantastic substitutions.
Paleo/Whole30. To make the puree paleo or Whole30 compliant, sub almond or coconut milk for the cream. To make the chicken Whole30 compliant, try 1/3 cup applesauce or 3-4 pureed dates in place of the honey. Disclaimer – I haven’t tested these substitutions, they’re just my best guess based on previous Whole30 experiments. Personally, I think the marinade needs a touch of sweetness, so I wouldn’t skip the honey altogether without a substitution. If you try either of these, I’d love to know your feedback!
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Thyme Honey Mustard Chicken
- 1 4- lb whole chicken
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 c. whole grain mustard
- 1/4 c. honey
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves plus 2-3 additional sprigs
- 1/2 cracked black pepper
Root Vegetable Puree
- 1 tbsp avocado oil or your choice of fat
- 2 medium sweet potato peeled and diced into 1/2" pieces
- 1 small butternut squash peeled and diced into 1/2" pieces
- 2-4 tbsp heavy cream
- sea salt to taste
- cracked black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 450. Thoroughly dry the chicken with paper towels or a kitchen towel. Place the chicken breast-side down on a cutting board. Using a sharp pair of kitchen shears, cut along one side of the spine. Rotate the chicken 180* and cut along the other side of the spine, removing it completely. Flip the chicken over and press on the breastbone to flatten. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet lined with foil and sprinkle with sea salt. Allow to rest at least 15 minutes, but preferably 30 minutes.
- While the chicken is resting, prepare the marinade and prep the root vegetables. Zest the lemon. Whisk together the lemon zest, whole grain mustard, honey, thyme leaves, and pepper. Slice the zested lemon and nestle it, along with the thyme springs, under the chicken. Peel and dice the vegetables and toss with the fat.
- Cut two slits into the skin where the breast meets the thigh. Rub a few tablespoons of marinade between the skin and breast meat. Rub the remaining marinade all over the chicken.
- Roast the chicken at 450 for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven to 350. Place the vegetables around the chicken. Roast the chicken and vegetables an additional 40 minutes (or more, depending on bird size) until the temperate of the chicken reaches 165 and the vegetables are soft and tender.
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and allow to rest. Meanwhile, transfer the vegetables to a food processor or blender. Add the 2 tbsp cream, salt and pepper and puree until smooth, adding additional cream if needed.
Whole30 Suggestions. Substitute 3-4 dates or 1/3 c. applesauce for the honey. On Slow Roasting. I slow roast my pastured birds. For organic or conventional birds, reduce oven temperate to 400 and roast 20 minutes.