Spatchcock Chicken


Spatchcock chicken, also known as butterflied chicken, is a delightful and speedy way to prepare chicken. This method involves removing the chicken’s backbone and flattening it before grilling or roasting. Here are the steps to make Spatchcock Chicken

Unusual title, incredible outcomes: Don’t let the peculiar name of this spatchcock chicken dish scare you away! This recipe not only delivers a crispy and succulent bird, but it is also much simpler than it appears, quickly becoming my preferred method of cooking a whole chicken. Let me guide you through the process of spatchcocking a chicken, the most effective way to season it, and how to either roast it in the oven or use an alternative grilling method. Get ready for a hassle-free chicken dinner!


Spatchcock chicken, also known as butterflied chicken, is a method of preparing and cooking a whole chicken. It involves removing the chicken’s backbone and flattening it out before roasting or grilling. This technique has several advantages:

Spatchcock Chicken
Spatchcock Chicken
  1. Even Cooking: Spatchcocking the chicken ensures that it cooks more evenly because the chicken lies flat on the cooking surface. This helps prevent overcooking the breast meat while waiting for the dark meat to cook through.
  2. Faster Cooking: The flattened shape of the chicken reduces the cooking time, making it a quicker option compared to roasting a whole chicken intact.
  3. Crispy Skin: Spatchcocking exposes more of the chicken’s skin to the heat, which results in a crispy and golden-brown skin that many people find delicious.

To spatchcock a chicken, you typically start by removing the backbone with kitchen shears or a sharp knife. After the backbone is removed, you can flatten the chicken by pressing it down firmly. Once it’s prepared, you can season and cook it as you would with any roasted or grilled chicken recipe.

Spatchcock chicken is a popular method because it’s relatively easy, and it ensures a well-cooked, juicy bird with a delightful presentation. It’s a favorite technique for both home cooks and professional chefs.

Ingredients & Substitutions for Spatchcock Chicken:


  1. Whole Chicken: You’ll need a whole chicken, preferably around 3.1 to 4 pounds (1.4 to 1.8 kilograms).
  2. Olive Oil: Use 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil to coat the chicken for a crispy and flavorful skin.
  3. Salt and Pepper: Season the chicken with salt and pepper according to your taste preferences.
  4. Herbs and Spices: You can customize the flavor of your spatchcock chicken with your choice of herbs and spices. Common options include rosemary, thyme, paprika, garlic powder, parsley, chives, and more. Feel free to get creative with your seasoning.
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  1. Whole Chicken: If you can’t find a whole chicken or prefer specific cuts, you can use bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces, such as chicken thighs or drumsticks. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly, as different cuts may cook at different rates.
  2. Olive Oil: Olive oil provides a nice flavor and helps crisp up the skin, but you can substitute it with other cooking oils like vegetable oil, canola oil, or melted butter.
  3. Salt and Pepper: You can replace salt and pepper with your preferred seasonings, such as seasoning blends or herbs like lemon pepper, cayenne pepper, or seasoned salt.
  4. Herbs and Spices: The choice of herbs and spices is highly customizable. Feel free to use your favorite herbs and spices, such as oregano, thyme, rosemary, paprika, or cumin, to add your unique flavor to the chicken.

Remember that ingredient substitutions can alter the taste and texture of your spatchcock chicken, so choose alternatives that complement your flavor preferences. Adjust quantities to suit your taste and experiment to create a dish that suits your palate.

Storage Instructions

Storage Instructions for Spatchcock Chicken:

  1. Refrigeration: If you have leftover spatchcock chicken, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or store it in an airtight container. Refrigerate the chicken within two hours of cooking. Properly stored, it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  2. Freezing: If you want to store spatchcock chicken for a longer period, you can freeze it. Place the chicken in an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag. Be sure to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Frozen spatchcock chicken can be kept for 2-6 months.
  3. Thawing: When you’re ready to use refrigerated or frozen spatchcock chicken, thaw it in the refrigerator. Allow at least 24 hours for the chicken to thaw completely in the fridge.
  4. Reheating: To reheat refrigerated spatchcock chicken, you can use an oven or microwave. To maintain its crispy texture, placing it in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 15-20 minutes is recommended. For frozen chicken, it’s best to thaw it first and then reheat it using the same methods.
  5. Safety: Always ensure that reheated chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s safe to eat.

Remember to use proper food storage practices to maintain the flavor and quality of your spatchcock chicken. Label containers with the date to keep track of when it was stored, and consider portioning it before freezing so you can thaw only what you need.

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Spatchcock Chicken

Spatchcocking, also known as butterflying, is a fantastic technique for preparing chicken that delivers juicy, tender meat with crispy skin. This method involves removing the chicken's backbone and flattening it, which not only reduces cooking time but also ensures even cooking throughout. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, spatchcocking a chicken is easy and yields impressive results. Here's how to spatchcock and roast a chicken to perfection:
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Canada
Keyword: Spatchcock Chicken
Servings: 4
Calories: 1800kcal


  • 1 whole chicken 3-4 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Your choice of herbs and spices rosemary, thyme, paprika, garlic powder, etc.


  • Gather your tools:
    A whole chicken
    Kitchen shears or a sharp knife
    A cutting board
    Paper towels
    A baking sheet or roasting pan
    Cooking twine (optional)
  • Preheat your oven:
    Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). This high temperature will help achieve crispy skin.
  • Prepare the chicken:
    Place the chicken breast-side down on your cutting board. Make sure the chicken is at room temperature for even cooking.
    Using kitchen shears or a knife, cut along one side of the backbone from the tail to the neck. Repeat on the other side to remove the backbone. Save it for making chicken stock.
    Open the chicken like a book and press it down to flatten it. You might hear a satisfying crack, and that's perfectly normal. This ensures even cooking.
  • Season the chicken:
    Rub the chicken with olive oil, making sure to coat it evenly.
    Season the chicken generously with salt, pepper, and your choice of herbs and spices. Be creative with your seasoning to suit your taste.
  • Roasting:
    Place the spatchcocked chicken, skin-side up, on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan. If you have cooking twine, you can tie the legs together to help maintain its shape.
    Roast in the preheated oven for about 45-55 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the thigh. The skin should be golden and crispy.
  • Rest and carve:
    Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring moist and tender meat.
    Carve the spatchcocked chicken into serving portions and serve with your favorite sides. You can also make a delicious gravy with the pan drippings.


Spatchcocked chicken is a versatile dish that pairs well with a variety of sides, from roasted vegetables to a fresh green salad. Whether you're preparing a weekday dinner or a special occasion meal, this method is sure to impress with its crispy skin and succulent meat. Give it a try and elevate your chicken roasting game to a whole new level!

What to serve with spatchcock chicken

Spatchcock chicken is a versatile dish that pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Here are some ideas for what to serve with spatchcock chicken:

  1. Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables like carrots, potatoes, bell peppers, and zucchini complement spatchcock chicken beautifully. Toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs before roasting.
  2. Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes are a classic and comforting side dish. They’re perfect for soaking up the delicious chicken juices and gravy.
  3. Salad: A fresh green salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a light vinaigrette makes a refreshing and healthy side to balance the richness of the chicken.
  4. Rice: Serve your spatchcock chicken with plain white rice or flavored rice like pilaf, cilantro-lime rice, or garlic butter rice.
  5. Coleslaw: Coleslaw provides a crunchy and tangy contrast to the savory chicken. You can make a classic coleslaw with cabbage and carrots or try a different variation, such as apple coleslaw.
  6. Grilled Corn on the Cob: Grilled corn on the cob, seasoned with butter and your choice of spices, is a great side dish for a barbecue or summertime meal.
  7. Garlic Bread or Dinner Rolls: Freshly baked garlic bread or dinner rolls are perfect for sopping up the chicken’s juices and adding a comforting element to your meal.
  8. Pasta Salad: A pasta salad with a variety of colorful veggies, such as cherry tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese, can be a satisfying and substantial side dish.
  9. Cauliflower Mash: For a low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes, consider serving spatchcock chicken with cauliflower mash. It’s a creamy and flavorful option.
  10. Sautéed Greens: Sautéed spinach, Swiss chard, or kale with garlic and a dash of lemon juice can add a healthy and vibrant touch to your meal.
  11. Gravy: Don’t forget to make a flavorful gravy from the pan drippings of your roasted chicken. Drizzle it over the chicken and your side dishes for extra flavor.
  12. Salsa or Chimichurri: Bright and tangy salsas or chimichurri sauces made from herbs, garlic, and vinegar can provide a burst of freshness to your meal.
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The choice of side dishes ultimately depends on your personal preferences and the occasion. Spatchcock chicken is a versatile main course that can be paired with a wide range of sides, so feel free to get creative and customize your meal to suit your tastes.

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