This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This beautiful Spatchcock Chicken is crispy, juicy, and bursting with flavor! Super easy to prepare and done in less time than roasting it whole!
Did you know that if you spatchcock a chicken you’re cutting down the cooking time by half? Yes, half! To me that’s a big plus, especially in the summer because the last thing I want is to have the oven on all day, but I still want my home cooked meals, which is why this spatchcock chicken is perfect.
What Is Spatchcock Chicken
To spatchcock a chicken basically means to butterfly the chicken and remove the backbone. While this looks complicated, it’s super easy to do. Not only that, but in about an hour you’ll have a very impressive dinner, fool proof, insanely delicious for your entire family or friends.
You can use this method for Cornish hens as well or quails, and cook them in no time at all. While removing the backbone may look scary or hard, it’s really easy to do and all you need is a good pair of kitchen shears.
Because this spatchcock chicken requires less time in the oven, you end up with a super juicy bird. Even the breast won’t be dry, and nobody likes a dry breast.
Ingredients You’ll Need For Spatchcock Chicken
You’ll only need a handful of ingredients to make this easy one pot chicken dinner. Here they are:
- A Whole Chicken
- Butter – for the compound butter. Compound butter is a mixture of butter with spices and herbs.
- Poultry Herb Blend – You can find poultry herb blends in your local grocery store located with all the other herbs, or you can make your own using my recipe here.
- Smoked Paprika
- Salt & Pepper
I made a compound butter with poultry herbs, garlic and smoked paprika, which I spread half of it under the skin and the remaining over the skin for extra flavor and yumminess. Trust me, this butter is one of the secrets to this chicken being super juicy and succulent.
How To Spatchcock a Chicken:
- Make sure you first place the chicken breast-side down and the legs towards you.
- Use a good pair of kitchen shears to cut up along each side of the backbone, cutting through the rib bones as you go.
- Open the chicken out and turn it over then flatten the breastbone with the heel of your hand, by pressing down (see video) so that the meat is all one thickness.
- Season well on both sides with your favorite poultry seasoning and roast in the oven as stated in the recipe or barbecue on a grill for 15-20 minutes per side, depending on the size of the bird.
How To Serve
Here are some delicious side dishes I love serving my chicken with:
- Mashed potatoes
- Macaroni salad
- Greek salad
- Italian Parmesan Roasted Potatoes
- Baked Mac and Cheese
- Roasted Broccoli
How To Store Leftovers
If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers from this chicken, store them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Make sure to let the chicken cool completely before you freeze it. Place individual pieces of chicken into freezer bags. Remove as much air as possible from the freezer bag as you slide the zipper closed. Freeze for up to 3 months.
More Great Chicken Recipes To Try:
- Beer Can Chicken
- Roast Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Garlic Sauce
- Marinated Chicken Spiedies with Garlic Sauce
- Spanish Chicken with Chorizo and Potatoes
- Baked Garlic and Ginger Chicken Drumsticks
Looking for more recipes? Follow on…
- ½ cup butter unsalted, softened (1 stick)
- ¼ cup poultry herb blend chopped *
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp salt or to taste
- ½ tsp pepper or to taste
- 4 lb whole chicken
- pan drippings
- 1 cup chicken broth low sodium or no sodium added, or water
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- Prepare oven and skillet: Preheat your oven to 425 F degrees. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray. See recipe notes if you don’t have a large enough skillet.
- Make compound butter: In a small bowl add the butter, poultry herb blend, garlic, lemon zest, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Whisk or mash with a spatula until well combined.
- Spatchcock chicken: Place the chicken breast-side down and the legs towards you. Use a pair of kitchen shears to cut up along each side of the backbone, cutting through the rib bones as you go. Open the chicken out and turn it over then flatten the breastbone with the heel of your hand, by pressing down (see video) so that the meat is all one thickness. Cut the wing tips off as well.
- Season chicken: Season the inside of the chicken generously with salt and pepper, then flip it over so that the breast side is up.
- Apply compound butter: Run your fingers under the chicken skin (breasts and legs) and rub half of the compound butter under the skin. Spread the rest of the mixture over the top of the bird.
- Bake: Place the chicken in the prepared skillet and bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until it registers 165 to 170 F on an instant-read thermometer. The time can vary if using a different size chicken.
- Let chicken rest: Let the chicken rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes before carving it and serving.
- Make gravy: To make the gravy cook the fat drippings from the skillet in a saucepan over medium heat until bubbling. Stir in the cornstarch and chicken broth or water. Stir constantly using a whisk, bring a boil and boil for 1 more minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as needed.
- * You can find poultry herb blends in your local grocery store located with all the other herbs. Usually they contain rosemary, sage and thyme, so if you cannot the blend you could always buy them separately.
- If you don’t have a skillet (about 12 inch) large enough to roast the chicken you can use a baking sheet. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then place a baking rack over it. Spray the rack with cooking spray.
- If your oven has a Roast function, preheat it to 375 F degrees and roast it for 35 minutes or until it registers 165 to 170 F on an instant-read thermometer. The time can vary if using a different size chicken.
- The nutritional information is for 6 people. Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.