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Spatchcock Chicken

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posted: 11/06/22

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Spatchcock chicken is a delicious and easy way to make a meal out of a whole chicken. In this delicious recipe, we use Italian Seasoning with chicken, veggies, and a small handful of other ingredients. The result is an amazing and easy dinner.

Overhead of serving platter of spatchcock chicken, potatoes, and carrots for serving.

A few years ago, there was a trend of sheet pan meals. They are actually pretty amazing because it’s all one meal on a sheet pan with very little clean up. I got in on the craze with Sheet Pan Cod and this amazing Sheet Pan Sausage and Veggie dinner.

Spatchcock Chicken might be the original sheet pan meal. In this great dinner, we are using a very easy method to cook a whole chicken. Then we throw in some veggies to make it a full meal. This very easy chicken dinner is full of delicious flavors. It definitely should be added to your dinner rotation.

What is Spatchcock Chicken

Spatchcocked chicken is a roasting chicken that has been butterflied open as a way to cook a whole chicken by removing the backbone and pressing the chicken flat for it to cook evenly.

There are a few different cooking methods including a smoker, grill, and oven. I will be showing you how to Spatchcock a chicken in the oven.

Why Spatchcock Chicken

  • Faster and more even cooking time. Since the chicken is laid flat and on a level surface, it cooks faster and more evenly resulting in crispy golden skin and juicy meat.
  • Increase in flavor. The chicken is butterflied open, exposing more surface area, so you can season more of the meat to achieve a fully flavored bird.
  • A perfect finished product. The crispy, golden skin and juicy meat in the end result are so delicious!

Italian Seasoning

This Italian Seasoning Recipe is an easy and healthy way to add a lot of flavor to dishes. It makes a big batch that allows you to have it on hand anytime you want to make a great recipe.
Overhead of raw chicken cut open to make spatchcock chicken with kitchen shears sitting beside

How to Spatchcock Chicken

Here is a brief overview of how to spatchcock a chicken. For the full steps and measurements to make an oven spatchcock chicken, see the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

  1. Remove the backbone of the chicken. Look for the small piece of tailbone that sticks out of the bottom of the bird. Use very sharp kitchen shears to cut on one side of the backbone all the way to the top of the chicken. Then repeat on the other side.
  2. Lay the chicken flat. Spread the chicken out flat on a baking sheet and press down.
  3. Make the seasoned butter mixture. Combine the room temperature butter and some of the seasonings. Gently spread the mixture under the skin of the chicken.
  4. Add olive oil. Coat the chicken evenly with olive oil then season with salt and pepper.
  5. Prepare the vegetables. Toss the carrots and potatoes with olive oil and the remaining spice mixture. Spread them around the chicken.
  6. Bake. Bake until cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Carve the meat and serve with the vegetables.
overhead of chicken, carrots, potaotoes on a baking sheet ready for cooking to make a spatchcock chicken recipe

Cooking Chicken

The key to making a perfectly moist and juicy roast chicken is not overcooking. Cook your spatchcock chicken (or any whole chicken) to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. To ensure you get it just right, use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature. You want to check the chicken both in the thickest part of the thigh and the thickest part of the breast to ensure it is done.

TOP PICK

Instant Read Thermometer

I love this thermometer! It can be left in the chicken while it cooks, so you know exactly when it hits 165.
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Overhead of prepared spatchcock chicken, carrots, and potatoes on baking sheet

Pro Tip

Invest in a good pair of kitchen shears to make removing the backbone of the chicken easy. Not only will this be handy for this recipe, you will use kitchen shears often in other recipe prep.

FAQ

What’s the difference between Spatchcock and regular chicken?

Spatchcock is the same as butterflying a chicken, preparing it in a way that maximizes cooking time and flavor.

Does Spatchcocking reduce cooking time?

Yes! Since the chicken is flat, it cooks both quicker and more evenly.

Does Spatchcock chicken have bones?

Yes. Even though the backbone is removed, the other bones are still present in the chicken.

Do you flip Spatchcock chicken when cooking?

Nope, just make sure the internal temperature is 165 degrees.

overhead of serving platter of carved spatchcock chicken, carrots, and potatoes garnished with rosemary

Storing Leftovers

Leftover chicken is great for so many recipes! I like to make Chicken Salad or use it in a casserole. To store leftovers, cut the chicken off the bone and into convenient slices, leaving the skin on as much as possible. Then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Always use your best discretion with leftovers.

Reheat by baking the chicken covered, at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until warm.

Thinking about freezing your leftover chicken? Check out my whole post on freezing cooked chicken.

Freezing Cooked Chicken

Freezing cooked chicken to keep on hand is the perfect short cut for dinners during a busy weeknight! Learn how to freeze cooked chicken with these simple easy steps.
overhead of a ziplock bag full of frozen rotisserie chicken
dinner plate of spatchcock chicken, potatoes, and carrots garnished with rosemary for serving.

How to Serve

Serve your chicken with the prepared vegetables. If you have leftovers, here are a few ideas for how to use your leftover chicken:

If you try this Spatchcock Chicken recipe or any of my others, leave a comment and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

Overhead of serving platter of spatchcock chicken, potatoes, and carrots for serving.
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Spatchcock Chicken

Serves: 6 people
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Spatchcock chicken is a delicious and easy way to make a meal out of a whole chicken. In this delicious recipe, we use Italian Seasoning with chicken, veggies, and a small handful of other ingredients. The result is an amazing and easy dinner.

Ingredients

For Chicken

  • 3 – 4 pound roasting chicken neck and giblets removed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning skin (if using table salt, start with 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper plus more for seasoning skin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For Vegetables

  • 3 carrots peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 1 pound Yukon gold baby potatoes scrubbed and cut in half (or 1 pound large potato cut into 1 inch cubes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet, and set aside.
  • Place the chicken breast side down on a cutting board. Locate the backbone. It is easiest to find by looking for the small piece of tailbone that sticks out of the bottom of the bird. Use very sharp kitchen shears to cut on one side of the backbone all the way to the top of the chicken. Then repeat on the other side to full remove the backbone. (See photos in the post.)
  • Turn the chicken over, spreading the chicken out flat. Press down so it lays fully flat. You may hear a pop – this is the breastbone breaking. Place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl combine the butter, Italian seasoning, kosher salt, and black pepper. Gently spread the mixture under the skin of the chicken, working to cover the breasts and thighs evenly.
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Spread 1 tablespoon olive oil over the chicken skin, coating it evenly. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • In a medium bowl, toss the vegetables with olive oil, Italian seasoning, kosher salt, and black pepper. Spread the vegetables around the chicken on the prepared baking sheet.
    3 carrots, 1 pound Yukon gold baby potatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the chicken reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit with an instant read thermometer. Watch closely at the end of the cooking time and cover the chicken with foil if the skin begins to brown too much.
  • Carve the chicken and serve with the vegetables.
Calories: 539kcal (27%) Carbohydrates: 17g (6%) Protein: 30g (60%) Fat: 38g (58%) Saturated Fat: 12g (75%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g Monounsaturated Fat: 17g Trans Fat: 0.2g Cholesterol: 157mg (52%) Sodium: 916mg (40%) Potassium: 760mg (22%) Fiber: 3g (13%) Sugar: 2g (2%) Vitamin A: 6690IU (134%) Vitamin C: 21mg (25%) Calcium: 59mg (6%) Iron: 3mg (17%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Overhead of serving platter of spatchcock chicken, potatoes, and carrots for serving.

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Spatchcock Chicken

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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