Spatchcock Chicken roasts in half the time of a whole trussed chicken, and also cooks more evenly. It’s a perfect weeknight dinner staple!
Once you spatchcock, you don’t go back to roasting whole chickens.
I know it has a weird name, and spatchcock chicken also looks kind of weird too, but once you try it, you’ll be sold.
The chicken comes out SO juicy and perfectly cooked, and you don’t end up with overcooked breast meat in order to get fully done dark meat.
Because everything is flattened out, all the different parts of the bird cook evenly, and you don’t even need to brine it.
Look how perfectly juicy this meat is:
Also, spatchcock chicken only takes about 45 minutes to roast, when whole chickens usually take twice as long.
And finally, because all of the skin is exposed to the oven air, it has a chance to brown evenly. No soggy skin on the underside!
Today we’ll be roasting the chicken in the oven, but know that you can also throw it on the grill, which is traditional for spatchcock chicken, or even on the smoker.
How to Make Spatchcock Chicken:
Flip the chicken to its backside, and use kitchen shears to cut along both sides of the backbone:
A good pair of shears (affiliate) will only run you about $20 and is really handy for this task.
You won’t need the backbone anymore, but what I do is throw it into a bag in the freezer to save for chicken stock or bone broth.
To flatten the chicken, press down firmly between the two breasts:
If needed, you can further flatten the chicken by opening up the space between the two breasts, just by prying a bit with your hands.
Now that the chicken is flat, it’s ready to be sprinkled with salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of oil, and whatever other herbs or spices you’d like.
How Long to Roast Spatchcock Chicken:
A 4.25-lb bird takes about 45 minutes in the oven to get golden all over, and register 160F in the thickest part of the breast.
Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving, so the juices can redistribute.
You can serve the chicken whole, or you can cut it up into pieces and serve on a platter:
- 4.25 lb whole chicken *
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp avocado oil (or other high heat oil)
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Use kitchen shears to cut along both sides of the backbone, and discard or save it for chicken stock or bone broth.
- Flip the chicken over and press down firmly between the two breasts, flattening the chicken.
- Pat the chicken skin all over with a paper towel, soaking up as much moisture as possible.
- Season the whole chicken with salt, pepper, and the herbs, then rub the oil evenly all over the chicken.
- Place the chicken on a sheet pan (the bigger the better, so any chicken juices that splatter don't burn on the floor of the oven), and roast for about 40-45 minutes, until the breast registers at 160F.
- Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes after roasting, so the juices can redistribute. The chicken will also continue cooking slightly, to about 165F. Enjoy!