This Butterflied Roast Chicken has a crisp and golden skin, juicy meat and the rice stuffing cooks right along with the chicken. It is a perfect recipe to make for the holidays or any special occasion, since it has a stunning presentation, it can be prepped in advance and the main course and side dish are all cooked at the same time.
- 1 whole chicken (4–5 lbs)
- 3/4 – 1 cup uncooked rice
- 1 Tablespoon butter or oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 2–4 garlic cloves, minced
- salt, pepper
- dry herbs and spices, to taste
- 1/2 – 1 cup grated cheese, optional
- fresh herbs, chopped (parsley, thyme, dill, chives, etc.)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut the backbone out of the chicken, using kitchen scissors or shears. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. You can also season with dry herbs and other seasonings to taste.
- Cook the rice according to the package directions, slightly undercooking it. Your rice should be 90% cooked.
- While the rice is cooking, in a skillet, heat the oil or butter. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Season with salt, pepper and other dry herbs and seasonings to taste. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender.
- When the rice is cooked, drain it and add the vegetables to it. Mix to combine. Cool slightly and then add the grated cheese, if using. Add part of the fresh herbs and mix to combine.
- Mound the rice on a large rimmed baking sheet, shaping it into an oval shape. Place the butterflied chicken on top of the rice. The chicken should cover the rice completely.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 1 hour, until your instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees in the chicken breast and 175 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh. Let the chicken rest for about 15 minutes before carving it. Serve with the rice, garnishing the rice with more fresh herbs.
Instructions to Prep the Chicken and Rice in Advance:
You can butterfly the chicken and season it with salt, pepper and other seasonings and store in the refrigerator for up to a day in advance. The rice and vegetables can also be cooked and mixed up to a day in advance, storing them in the refrigerator as well.
All you have to do on the day that you will serve the chicken and rice is to take them out of the refrigerator while you are preheating the oven so that the chicken comes to room temperature slightly, assemble the rice and chicken on the baking sheet and roast in the oven.