Chicken, Spatchcocked (Flattened) and Roasted


I don’t think it’s possible to fall out of love with roasted chicken, but sometimes I forget about it. I neglect it. I forget to pray at its altar with regularity, knife and fork in hand. And then I remember, and I am rewarded. This chicken is spatchcocked- it’s spine is removed and it is flattened. This preparation allows the chicken to roast faster, and it maximizes cost savings because whole chickens are usually less expensive than cut-up ones. Deeeeelicious!


To spatchcock your chicken, place it on the cutting board so that the back faces up. If you have trouble telling the difference, hold the chicken up: the wings, breasts, and legs point towards the front of the chicken’s body. Get a pair of sharp kitchen shears.


Using the kitchen shears, start at the chicken’s cavity/butt and cut up one side of the spine all the way to the neck. You’ll be cutting through bony ribs, so you’ll have to put some effort into it. Then, cut up the other side of the spine so that the whole backbone, and neck, come out in one strip. It’s like a chicken Grand Canyon. Save the back to make chicken stock!


Then, press open the chicken along your cut so that it lays flat. Turn the chicken over. The chicken’s knees should be pointing towards each other. You can take the wings and bend them down and backwards, tucking them behind the chicken so that they don’t overcook. You can now cook your chicken however you like. For a quick preparation, preheat your oven to 450º F. Place the chicken in the middle of a cast iron skillet.


Surround the chicken with vegetables that are cut into 1-inch chunks. I used onion, potato, and mushrooms. Sweet potato is particularly delicious this way. I think the chicken looks much happier with the vegetables, like it’s getting a hug! Drizzle only the vegetables with olive oil. Season everything with salt, pepper, and thyme.


Roast the chicken for 40 minutes until the vegetables are brown and caramelized and the chicken is fully cooked. Then, drizzle everything with the juice from one lemon. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before carving and serving it. Enjoy this delicious and comforting dinner!

Shopping list:

  • 3-4 pound chicken- 1
  • Vegetables
  • Olive oil
  • Thyme
  • Salt and pepper
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Chicken, Spatchcocked (Flattened) and Roasted — 9 Comments

  1. Remember when you could not touch or look at raw meat? This looks delicious but I am definitely having Louis do the prep work. Poor chicken!

    • I remember, and I am so happy those times have passed! I love the feasts you and Louis make 🙂 Can’t wait to share one with you!

  2. I make this all the time, an idea for you In 1/2 c. olive oil poach 10 chopped garlic cloves and the zest from 1 lemon. (don’t brown the garlic. Add 1 1/2 tea chopped thyme and 1/2 tea. chopped rosemary. Strain out the garlic mixture and put up under the skin. Brush top of chicken with the seasoned oil and drizzle over the veggies in the pan. Squeeze lemon juice over the top and bake.. Takes it up a notch and is fabulous. Leftovers make great chicken salad

  3. Pingback: Essential Chicken Stock | Witty in the City

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