Paleo Split Roast Chicken

Well, after 5 months of posting allergy-free recipes (most of which were baked goods), the pants are getting a wee bit tight!  So, I'm going to focus on posting healthier, allergy-free paleo recipes for a while.  The first one is a wonderful recipe I found on Health-Bent.  I highly recommend their website for incredibly delicious paleo recipes, a lot of which are allergy-free. This split roast chicken has an amazing garlic-lime-cilantro paste and is very juicy, due to the fact that it is split and not overcooked.

The recipe calls for an 8 pound chicken.  Now, I don't know from what farm these guys are finding such large poultry.  The largest birds I was able to find were 3 1/2-pounds each, so I decided to use 2.  The first thing to do is to split the chicken by cutting the back on either side of the spine.  I saved the spines to make some chicken stock later, along with the leftover bones.

Once the backs are split, you can lay them, breast-side up, until they are laying nice a flat. Leave them out to bring them to room temperature.  This is a key step to cooking a juicy chicken.  

The next step is to blend up the lime zest/juice, onions, garlic, cilantro, olive oil and salt in a food processor until it is a nice puree.  

Using your hands, smear the mixture all over the top of the chicken.  If your chicken is not to room temperature yet, just let it marinate in the mixture until it is.

Clean and grease the bottom of a cast-iron pan and lay it on top of the chicken when you put it in the oven.  It will bake for 45-60 minutes, until the thigh temperature reaches about 165 degrees.

When you remove the chicken from the oven, carefully lift the cast-iron pan off the chicken.  You can crisp up the rest of the top by briefly broiling.  I hope you enjoy this juicy, tasty chicken as much as we did!

Shared on: Gluten Free Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesday


Paleo Split Roast Chicken 

  • 1 whole chicken (8lbs) or 2 smaller chickens
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, stems and leaves
  • 3 green onions, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 c olive oil
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400ºF.
  2. Split the chicken in half, trying to get it to lay flat as it can. Splitting the chicken in half is a trick that will help the chicken cook faster, thus keeping it moist. Using a pair of kitchen shears, or a cleaver, cut the chicken along its back (not the breast side), making sure you start cutting to the side of the backbone, don't actually cut into the chicken's backbone. Sit the chicken on the counter to give yourself a sturdy base and start at the neck opening, cutting down towards the end at the tailbone. The chicken will look like it's doing a split - sort of. Lay the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan or large oven-safe baking dish.
  3. In your food processor, puree the lime zest & juice, green onions, garlic, olive oil and salt. Also add the cilantro, making sure to include the stems, along with the leaves. Smear the mixture all over the top of the chicken. Use the time it takes the chicken to come to room temperature as marinade time too.
  4. Clean off the bottom of a cast iron pan and lightly grease it with oil. Stick the chicken in the oven and place the bottom of the cast iron pan on the top of the chicken. This allows the oven heat to cook the chicken from the bottom and the cast iron pan to crisp it from the top. Bake until the temperature in the thigh of the chicken is around 165ºF. It should take about 45 minutes. Carefully remove the cast iron pan from the top of the chicken, and if you'd like the skin crispier, just stick the oven on broil and peek at the chicken every minute until it's done to your liking.
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  1. I love a quick, easy chicken recipe. Thank you!

  2. Your pictures are beautiful!
    Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    On the Gluten Free Fridays tab we have new badges for you to display on your blog. There are a few different choices for you. There are varying sizes as well. If you've had a featured recipe in the past, feel free to grab one of those badges as well! They are free for the taking; use as you wish! Thanks for supporting our GF community and spreading the word!

    Thanks for linking back to the Gluten Free Fridays post!

    See you at the link up this week!

    Cindy from