Lemon Roasted Spatchcock Chicken

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We're spatchcocking today!! Get excited. This Lemon Roasted Spatchcock Chicken is coming your way and it's a great way to meal prep for the week. Pick Caprese Orzo Salad, a Chopped Greek Salad or a Butter Lettuce Salad to complement this perfect roast chicken!!

A cast iron skillet placed on a blue kitchen towel with a spatchcocked roasted chicken in it, sitting on a bed of lemon halves and baby potatoes.


 

Why I Love This Recipe

In case you haven't heard of spatchcocking - it's basically splitting the chicken by removing the backbone and flattening it out so it roasts much faster. And while that might sound complicated - we've got a step by step photo tutorial on how to do it!

Growing up, my parents would always make whole roasted chickens on the regular. They were amazing to say the least. And let's not even start on the crispy chicken skin - I'd demolish that by myself no problem. The whole house would smell fantastic and if there were leftovers, my mom would throw them into one of my favorite casseroles for the next night.

These days, I make my own roasted chicken a few times a month. And when there are leftovers, I'll throw them into the same casserole that my husband is now obsessed with or put them into a salad of some sorts. Last weekend we were in a bit of a rush to head over to a friends party, but I was determined to roast one off for the week to use as leftovers. So instead of roasting it whole, I spatchcocked it! GENIUS! Way less time and just as delicious.

Spatchcock is just a fancy way of calling a chicken or a turkey that's been butterflied. The backbone is removed so you can open it up and roast the entire thing so it's extra crispy.  I roast mine with tons of lemons, salt, pepper, garlic and whatever herbs I have on hand, plus some potatoes to catch any of the drippings and soak up all that flavor.

Once it's done, not only will your house smell absurdly delicious, but you'll have one good looking dinner and hopefully leftovers! Carve it up, shred it up, toss it into some enchiladas and never fear about having time to roast and entire chicken ever again! And while this is a tutorial for a Spatchcock Chicken, you can do the same thing with a turkey! And you can spice either differently depending on what you plan on using the meat for.

Ingredients & Substitutions

mise-en-place with all the ingredients required to make lemon roasted spatchcock chicken
  • Whole Chicken
  • Olive Oil plus more for potatoes
  • Dried Oregano
  • Dried Thyme
  • Lemon juiced and zested
  • Chopped Rosemary
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper freshly ground
  • Garlic sliced in half
  • Lemons halved
  • Baby Potatoes

*For a full list of ingredients and instructions please see recipe card below.

How to Make Roasted Spatchcock Chicken

A woman cutting along one side of the backbone of a chicken with kitchen scissors, placed on a white cutting board.

Step 1: Start by cutting along one side of the backbone.

A woman cutting along one side of the backbone of a chicken with kitchen scissors, placed on a white cutting board, and the other side is already cut.

Step 2: Cut all the way to the top and then cut the other side of the backbone. Remove the bone entirely.

A woman smashing the backbone of a chicken to flatten it out, placed on a white cutting board, along with its cut out backbone and a pair of kitchen scissors.

Step 3: Flip the chicken over and push it down with your hand breaking the breast bone.

A woman sprinkling a mix of dried herbs onto a spatchcocked chicken placed on a white cutting board.

Step 4: Season with salt, pepper and herbs.

A wooden cutting board with a skillet placed on it, containing lemon halves and a spatchcocked chicken.

Step 5: Tuck lemons around the bird for extra flavor.

A wooden cutting board with a skillet placed on it, containing lemon halves and a spatchcocked chicken and a woman adding baby potatoes to it from a small bowl in her other hand.

Step 6: Add some baby potatoes to soak up all the drippings.

A wooden cutting board with a skillet placed on it, containing lemon halves, baby potatoes and a spatchcocked chicken, and a woman drizzles olive oil onto it.

Step 7: Drizzle some olive oil.

A woman holding a kitchen thermometer showing a temperature reading of 167F, and an expected temperature setting of 165F, with the thermometer probe in the breast of a roasted spatchcocked chicken in a skillet placed on a stovetop.

Step 8: Cook until the bird is 165 degrees F.

A skillet closeup, with a roasted spatchcock chicken on a bed of lemon halves and baby potatoes on a stovetop.

Step 9: Remove and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

How to Store Roasted Spatchcock Chicken

You can store the roasted chicken in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. With chicken especially, make sure you warm it to the safe temperature when re-heating.

How to Freeze Roasted Spatchcock Chicken

You sure can freeze roasted chicken. I recommend shredding and taking the meat off the bone before doing so. However, if you wish to consume it in non-shredded forms, you can also leave the pieces as is. Portion the chicken into the amounts you would like to defrost at a time, date them, and freeze them for up to 2 months.

To thaw, you can leave it in the fridge overnight. Make sure to heat to the safe temperature when its time to heat. You can also use frozen if adding to a stew.

Tips & Tricks

While this is a tutorial for a Spatchcock Chicken, you can do the same thing with a turkey! And you can spice either differently depending on what you plan on using the meat for.

A skillet closeup, with a roasted spatchcock chicken on a bed of lemon halves and baby potatoes on a blue kitchen towel.

FAQs

What is spatchcocking and why do it?

It's basically splitting the chicken by removing the backbone and flattening it out so it roasts much faster and more uniformly.

Where should I probe the chicken to check temperate?

Place the probe in the thickest part of the breast and the thicket part of the inner thigh. Take care the probe does not touch any bones, since that would affect the temperature reading.

Similar Recipes

If you tried this recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the 📝 comments below. Thanks for visiting today

Lemon Roasted Spatchcock Chicken

Author: Gaby Dalkin
5 from 17 votes
A super easy and foolproof way to make a Lemon Roasted Spatchcock Chicken!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 4-pound whole chicken
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 heads garlic, sliced in half
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 2 cups baby potatoes

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°. Using poultry shears, cut along each side of the chicken backbone and remove it. Turn the chicken breast side up and press on the breastbone to flatten the chicken. Rub the chicken all over with the olive oil, oregano, thyme, lemon zest, juice and rosemary. Generously season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer the chicken to a large cast iron skillet, skin side up with the garlic and lemon halves tucked in under the chicken. Scatter the potatoes around the chicken and drizzle them with olive oil, salt and pepper..
  • Roast for 45-50 minutes, until the skin is golden browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in an inner thigh registers 165°. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes before serving

Notes

While this is a tutorial for a Spatchcock Chicken, you can do the same thing with a turkey! And you can spice either differently depending on what you plan on using the meat for.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 571mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 128IU | Vitamin C: 63mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @WhatsGabyCookin or tag #whatsgabycooking!

49 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is literally the best. So easy. So delish. I make it every other week and use whatever is leftover for other easy meals. Make sure you have lots of bread on hand to soak up all the juice!

  2. Excellent! added carrots, portobello mushrooms and quartered onions to the mix. Removed and let rest chicken when it read the correct degree, let the veggies to continue to roast. Excellent.

  3. 5 stars
    It was delicious!! But was out of rosemary so I used thyme and also out of big potatoes so I used Yukon cut up small and also added carrots to the mix and changed the temp to 275 and since mine was a 5 pounder I let it cook for 4 hours while cleaning my house amd taking care of my 2 month old who was born 2/22/22. Let me say all my kids and hubby loved it and def making again!! Added this recipe to my personal book of recipes I keep and look forward to trying more of your recipes and will keep and eye out for a recipes book of you have one!!

  4. 5 stars
    Of course, the crispy herb/spiced skin was the star of the show. But the meat was tender and very juicy. This is the first time I have made spatchcock chicken, but definitely not the last. It was SO delicious.

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe is the same as my Mom's/she use to do this for the weekend Love it AWESOME! Thank you for having this and sharing it as l have looked everywhere for her's this is the one..Thank you again so much.

  6. I LOVE this recipe! It has become part of our rotation, and it never disappoints, both for ease and deliciousness. I used to occasionally try to roast a whole chicken and almost always overcooked the white meat. This method cooks the whole chicken perfectly. I am the only one in my family who will eat the garlic cloves, but I will gladly carry that mantle 🙂 Thank you Gaby!!

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