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How to Spatchcock Chicken

This delicious Spatchcock Chicken One Pan Meal is simple enough for weeknight dinners but also a crowd pleaser for company or date night.

To spatchcock a chicken means to butterfly the chicken and remove the backbone. Because it’s flattened out, the chicken cooks in half the time of a whole chicken. It also cooks more evenly, which results in a juicy and perfectly cooked chicken every time with no marinating required!

A good pair kitchen shears is needed and you can use this method for Cornish game hens or turkey.

The potatoes and carrots are cooked with the chicken. The chicken will roast for 45-50 minutes so choose vegetables that will cook in the same amount of time. If using soft vegetables such as zucchini, add the vegetables about halfway.

I added garlic herb butter under the chicken skins and on top, along with lemon slices. If you prefer not to use butter, rub chicken with oil. For crispy skin, broil for a few minutes before serving.

Spatchcock Chicken Dinner


  • 1 whole chicken (4-5 lbs)

  • Salt and pepper and any other seasonings

  • Optional vegetables or lemon, cut

  • Herb butter - 1/2 stick of softened butter, mixed with minced garlic and fresh or dried herbs

  • Oil if not using butter


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

To remove backbone: place chicken breast-side down with the legs towards you. Using kitchen shears, cut along the right of the backbone from the bottom up to the neck. Next, cut the left side of the backbone. (Discard backbone or save for chicken stock)

Flip the chicken over and press down firmly between the two breasts with your hands.

Place chicken on a baking sheet or pan. Season both sides with salt, pepper and your favorite seasonings.

Optional: Spread garlic butter under the skins of the chicken.

Dot butter over the chicken (or rub with oil) and top with optional lemon slices.

Add vegetables around the chicken and top with some of the butter mixture or oil and salt and pepper.

Roast for 45 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 160˚F when inserted into thickest part of chicken breast. Remove form oven and let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.


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