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.

Spatchcock Chicken - On Wooden Board with Herbs

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:

Spatchcock Chicken Recipe - Cut To Show Juicy Breast Piece on Wooden Board

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:

How to Spatchcock a Chicken - By Cutting Backbone with Shears

A good pair of shears (affiliate) will only run you about $20 and is really handy for this task.

Cutting Backbone From Whole Bird

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.

Spatchcock Roast Chicken with Bone Cut Out on Board

To flatten the chicken, press down firmly between the two breasts:

Pressing Bird Down to Flatten

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.

Flattening Breasts Down with 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.

Adding Pepper to Spatchcock Chicken on Board

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.

Roast Spatchcock Chicken - On Sheet Pan with Golden Skin

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:

Spatchcock Chicken Oven Recipe Cut Into Pieces And Served On Platter

Potato GratinRoasted Brussel Sprouts, and Roasted Cauliflower are all great sides to serve with the chicken, but truthfully it goes with almost anything!

Spatchcock Chicken On Wooden Board with Herbs

Spatchcock Chicken

Spatchcock Chicken roasts in half the time of a whole trussed chicken, and also cooks more evenly. It's a perfect weeknight dinner staple!
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Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions 

  • 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!

Notes

Any 4 to 5 lb chicken will work, but the cook time will vary slightly. It's best to use a thermometer to check for doneness.
The nutritional information assumes that you will eat all of the skin.

Nutrition

Calories: 529kcal, Protein: 43g, Fat: 38g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 173mg, Sodium: 744mg, Potassium: 447mg, Vitamin A: 485IU, Vitamin C: 6.2mg, Calcium: 28mg, Iron: 2.2mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.