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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
- 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
Step 1: Start by cutting along one side of the backbone.
Step 2: Cut all the way to the top and then cut the other side of the backbone. Remove the bone entirely.
Step 3: Flip the chicken over and push it down with your hand breaking the breast bone.
Step 4: Season with salt, pepper and herbs.
Step 5: Tuck lemons around the bird for extra flavor.
Step 6: Add some baby potatoes to soak up all the drippings.
Step 7: Drizzle some olive oil.
Step 8: Cook until the bird is 165 degrees F.
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.
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.
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
- 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
- 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