How to Make Spatchcock Chicken

Spatchcock Chicken Recipe

Spatchcock Chicken is the secret to getting a delicious whole roasted chicken on the table in under an hour. Dressed with herbs, garlic and copious amounts of olive oil, this chicken is full of flavor, juicy and has the most delicious crispy skin; all the things you want in a chicken without having to wait for an hour and a half to enjoy it. Have you seen those rotisseries that have potatoes underneath the birds getting soaked in the cooking juices? A few potato wedges (or your favorite low carb sub) underneath and you have a lemony, herby, chicken fat crisped side dish to go along with it.

Spatchcock chicken gives you rotisserie results from your oven.

Spatchcock chicken gives you rotisserie results from your oven.

How to Make Spatchcock Chicken

First off, let me just say, you don’t HAVE to cut the chicken up yourself; just ask your butcher in your favorite grocery store. If you are not in an area with a good butcher shop, or you simply want to learn the method, you will see it is not hard at all and only requires two cuts. Once you learn this technique, though, you will make this over and over again.

Obviously, if you have the butcher cut the chicken for you, you can skip right to making the rub and massaging it into the chicken.

The best thing about roasting a chicken is letting potatoes of veggies underneath catch all the juices. Make sure you take this opportunity to make a super easy side dish. If you don’t eat potatoes, use squash, cauliflower, onions and peppers, fennel, broccoli, whatever you want. If you use winter squash, follow the same directions, but if you use any of the others, wait until the chicken has been in for 25 minutes before adding veggies.

I always serve this with some sort of salad to offset all the fatty goodness of roasted chicken. You can do a Greek salad as I have done here or you favorite salad recipe, but if you want to keep it really simple serve the chicken on a pile of arugula or mixed greens and use the pan juices for the dressing. Tuck in the potatoes or serve them on the side.

Spatchcock Chicken

Spatchcock Chicken

Spatchcock Chicken (AKA flattened chicken) takes only about 45 minutes to cook through. Add some potatoes underneath and while it is cooking away, you can catch an episode of your current binge. Don’t want to DIY cutting the chicken? Most butcher departments will do it for you. All you need is some mixed greens or arugula underneath as the chicken will create a delicious dressing from its juices.


1 whole chicken

Fresh cracked pepper

Rub Ingredients

zest of two small lemons

1 ½ tbsp salt

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

5 large cloves of garlic

1 tbsp fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)

2 tbsp olive oil

Other Ingredients

Juice of the two small lemons, reserve lemon halves after squeezing

1 lb russet potatoes, cut into 8 wedges each

8 cups Mixed Greens or Arugula to Serve


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

  2. Turn the chicken with the back facing up and the neck facing away from you.

  3. Cut along each side of the backbone to completely remove it and the neck.

  4. Turn the chicken over and press firmly on the breast bone to flatten completely. Press down on the legs if necessary to make the whole chicken about the same thickness across.

  5. Wash your hands thoroughly and mix together the rub ingredients in a small bowl.

  6. Lift the skin of the chicken and massage the rub into the flesh.

  7. Sprinkle the chicken with lots of black pepper and set on a rack that is on top of a large baking sheet.

  8. Tuck the potatoes underneath the chicken and throw in the lemon halves you reserved.

  9. Roast for 45 minutes or until the legs move away from the body easily.

  10. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and cover with foil.

  11. Remove the lemons from the baking sheet and toss the potatoes around in the juices a bit.

  12. Place under broiler to brown the potatoes.

  13. Remove the potatoes and stir lemon juice into the pan juices. Pour this mixture into a bowl.

  14. Cut the chicken into 6 pieces (2 leg quarters, 2 top breast halves with wing attached and 2 lower breast halves)

  15. Serve over greens with the pan juices and roasted potatoes

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