Roasted whole chicken with apples and sausage

SmartPoints® value per serving
Total Time
1 hr 22 min
12 min
1 hr 10 min
You cannot beat the homey delight of a whole roasted chicken. With only 12 minutes of active prep time, this meal is ready in just over an hour and serves a crowd. Spatchcock, the act of splitting the chicken at the backbone and flattening it for roasting, reduces the cooking time for a whole chicken and allows all the skin equal access to the main heat for crispy skin and evenly cooked meat. This golden roasted chicken, sweet cider gravy and delectable sides of apple, onion and sausage is wonderfully accompanied by roasted fingerling potatoes and simple green beans. At the store or farm stand, choose a firm variety of apple such as Braeburn, Fuji or Gala to insure their texture through the roasting process. Serve this dish for family gatherings and enjoy the happy faces and full bellies.


Uncooked sweet Italian turkey sausage

10 oz, 2 (5-ounce) links

Fresh parsley

¼ cup(s), chopped flat leaf

Fresh thyme

1 Tbsp, chopped

Garlic clove(s)

2 medium clove(s), minced

Table salt

1 tsp

Black pepper

¾ tsp

Raw skinless boneless light and dark meat chicken

1 pound(s), 1 (3 1/4-pound) whole chicken

Fresh apple(s)

4 medium, quartered

Uncooked red onion(s)

1 large, cut through root end into 8 wedges

Apple cider

1½ cup(s)

Cooking spray

1 spray(s)


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray large roasting pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Prick sausage all over with fork and transfer to medium skillet. Add enough cold water to cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sausage is firm, about 5 minutes. Drain, cool slightly, and cut into 1/2-inch slices.
  3. Combine parsley, thyme, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper in small bowl. Place chicken, breast side down, on cutting board. Using kitchen shears or knife, cut through ribs on each side of backbone and discard. Turn chicken over and use your hands to flatten chicken. Gently lift skin from chicken and spread herb mixture evenly under skin. Place chicken in center of prepared pan. Tuck wing tips under chicken.
  4. Scatter apples, onion, and sausage around chicken. Sprinkle apple mixture with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper; lightly spray with nonstick spray. Roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into chicken thigh (not touching bone) registers 165°F, 50–55 minutes, stirring apple mixture once halfway through roasting time.
  5. Transfer chicken and apple mixture to platter and cover to keep warm. Strain pan juices into measuring cup. Add cider to roasting pan and set over two burners. Bring to boil over high heat, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cider is reduced by half, about 6 minutes. Strain cider mixture into measuring cup and skim off visible fat. Carve chicken into 8 pieces and serve with apple mixture and sauce. Remove chicken skin before eating.
  6. Per serving: 1 piece chicken with 1/2 cup apple mixture and about 2 tablespoons sauce


Look for local apple cider, which is simply unfiltered apple juice, at farmers' markets. The flavor of the cider will vary from farm to farm or even week to week depending on the types of apples used.