I get asked how to make these all of the time and it’s my go-to roast when I need something that looks sexy when I’m time-poor for a dinner. It’s the simplest and fastest way to bake a chicken, almost without failure, while keeping it juicy. PLUS, doing it this way makes is super easy to carve. PLUS +, everybody who wants to cook has got to be able to bake a chicken. It’s as easy as boiling water but you’d be surprised at how much street cred you’ll get from your mates when you pull this out of your oven.

Do not be put off by the title. It got that name because my husband thought it looked like it had gotten flattened by a truck. But I thought that was such a funny name, it stuck. Sorry for a very weird sense of humour.

A couple suggestions on the spices: I try to use fresh when I can get them. My favourite are rosemary and sage. I usually shove the whole sage leaves under the skin. I also put some rosemary leaves on top of the bird while putting a generous amount of sprigs underneath it.

I also have put slices of orange, lime or lemon under the skin. These add great flavour as well as look beautiful when you present the chook to your guests. Experiment and tell us what you do to customise yours.


  1. I suggest you lay the uncooked bird on top of some sliced root vegetables like carrot, parsnip, potatoes or sweet potatoes. They’ll cook in the juices and give you a bonus you couldn’t duplicate any other way.
  2. Do NOT throw out the juices/fat in the bottom of the pan. Scrape off the baking paper before throwing it out. Then place the pan on top of your stove and deglaze it with a bit of water and/or white wine. Save this nectar in a jar in your fridge for the next time you need broth or stock.
  3. Save all of the bones from this bird to be used later for your bone broths.

How much amazing stuff does this recipe do?!?!?!


1 Whole Free Range Chicken

Oil (coconut, grapeseed or olive)

Salt, pepper and spices


PREHEAT oven 250C (very high)

LINE large backing pan with baking paper.

CUT bird on each side between the breast and the thigh/leg. Then crack it in half. You will probably need to give it another sideways cracking to get it flat.

LAY the bird on top of your herbs, vegetables, whatevah.

POUR small amount of oil on the chicken. Rub it all over with your hands. And be sure to then soap up and clean those digits in hot water and soap.

SPRINKLE the entire bird generously with salt, pepper and any other spices. Try a bit of smokey paprika…mmmmm. A bit of a word here on salt: Don’t worry about it ruining the flavor. It will help crisp the skin but won’t add significantly to the saltiness of the meat.

SLIDE pan into oven and bake for 30 minutes. This high heat will help crisp the skin and keep the juices from leaving the bird.

DECREASE the heat to 180C/ 360F for 20 minutes to complete the cooking.



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