How to Make It
Use fingers to loosen skin under chicken breasts and legs. Rub meat beneath skin evenly with salt. Pat skin completely dry. Place chicken, skin side up, in a 13- x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Place dish, uncovered, on bottom shelf of refrigerator; chill 8 hours or overnight.
Remove chicken dish from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Preheat oven to 200°F. Place dish in oven; roast chicken, skin side up, 2 hours and 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 155°F in meatiest part of breast and at least 165°F in meatiest part of thigh.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add oil to pan. Add chicken to pan, skin side down; cook 3 minutes or until skin is browned and crispy. Remove from pan; let stand 30 minutes before carving.
How to Master the Method
1. Spatchcock the Bird: With the chicken breast-side down, use kitchen shears to cut along both sides of the backbone, and remove it. Flip the chicken breast-side up, and then press down on the breasts until bones crack and the bird lays flat.
2. Salt & Air-chill: Rub salt evenly into the meat under the skin. The salt penetrates deeply into the meat and seasons the chicken over several hours, as with a wet brine. The advantage here: The chicken isn't underwater, so the skin dries as it chills, making it easier to brown and crisp in a pan later.
3. Roast Low & Slow: Roasting at 200°F keeps the meat from seizing up and squeezing out lots of juice, a risk you run with high oven temps. The chicken's temperature rises slowly, so you're less likely to overcook it. And roasting it skin-side up dries the skin even more before the pan-browning.
4. Brown & Crisp: Unlike with whole chickens, it's easy to sear the skin on a spatchcocked bird. Just a few minutes sizzling in a hot pan will yield crunchy, golden skin without overcooking the meat.