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    This delicious oven-roasted spatchcock chicken recipe is perfect for a family feast. Made with a lemon, garlic, and herb butter rub, this method of cooking a whole chicken is simple and easy and guarantees the most tender, flavorful, and juicy results.

    spatchcock chicken on a plate

    If the idea of cooking a whole roast chicken is a little intimidating, you have to try this roasted spatchcock chicken recipe! Simple to make, it comes out perfectly every single time.

    When you roast a whole chicken, it can be tricky to keep the breasts nice and juicy as they cook quicker than the thighs and can easily come out dry. This method of flattening the chicken helps the thighs to cook quicker so everything is done at the same time.

    Be sure to try my Instant Pot BBQ Chicken and Baked Chicken Tenders too!

    Why you will love this recipe!

    • Easy to make: Do not be intimidated by this recipe, it’s actually super easy to spatchcock a whole chicken, plus, the cooking time is totally hands off. And you need only a handful of ingredients.
    • Great for a crowd: This recipe uses a 5 pound chicken so it’s perfect for family dinners.
    • Great for meal prep: This spatchcock chicken is obviously delicious as it is, but if you have any leftovers, they are great to use for meal prep throughout the week.

    Ingredients

    • Whole chicken: Buy the best quality chicken you can for the best flavor. Organic and air chilled chicken is best, but at the very least buy one that has not be raised on antibiotics.
    • Brine: Brining the chicken is optional, but it helps to tenderize the chicken and add extra moisture so it’s extra juicy and flavorful.
    • Garlic herb butter: Perfect and flavorful chicken rub! You need butter, salt, pepper, lemon juice and zest, garlic, parsley, thyme and rosemary.
    ingredients for spatchcock chicken

    How to make and cook a spatchcock chicken

    • If you are going to use a chicken brine, prepare the chicken brine according to recipe directions and brine for 8 hours in the refrigerator. The brine is optional but highly recommended.
    • Remove the chicken from the brine. Rinse the chicken with cold water and pat it dry very well with paper towels.
    • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil.
    • Using poultry shears or kitchen shears, remove the backbone of the chicken and cut the cartilage over the breastbone on the inside of the bird where the two breasts join together near the neck. This will allow the chicken to lay flat when you turn it over. Finally, tuck the wings under the rib cage to protect them as they cook.
    • Make the butter rub by mixing softened butter with salt, pepper, parsley, garlic, thyme, and rosemary.
    • Using the back of a spoon, slide it under the skin and gently loosen it and rub some of the butter mixture under the skin. Generously coat the outside of the chicken with the butter mixture.
    • Place the spatchcocked chicken on the baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165 degrees F in both the thigh and the breast. (You can also insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken (breast or thigh).)
    • Remove the chicken from the oven. Loosely cover with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes, then carve and serve.

    Make herb butter

    process images of making herb butter

    Spatchcock chicken and bake

    Spatchcock the chicken and rub the herb butter under and over the skin. Lay flat on a baking sheet and roast chicken.

    process images of spatchcocking chicken

    How to spatchcock a chicken – step by step

    1. Pat dry the chicken very well with paper towels.
    2. Using poultry shears or kitchen shears, remove the backbone of the chicken.
    3. Cut the cartilage over the breastbone on the inside of the bird where the two breasts join together near the neck. This will allow the chicken to lay flat when you turn it over.
    4. Finally, tuck the wings under the rib cage to protect them as they cook.

    How long do leftovers keep?

    Whenever I cook a whole chicken I always like to buy larger than I need so that we can enjoy the leftovers the next day (or two!). Once the chicken is fully cooled, remove the meat from the bones and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep well for up to 4 days. You can shred the meat and use it in soups and stews, or use it cold in sandwiches, salads, and wraps. You can also use freeze the bones in a freezer-safe ziplock bag and use them later to make chicken broth.

    cut chicken after roasting

    How do you keep a whole chicken juicy?

    It can be tricky to get a perfectly cooked whole chicken, the breasts often overcook and come out dry. This method of spatchcocking means that the breasts and thighs cook at a similar time, so everything cooks through evenly. The butter rub is also key. The layer of butter under the skin protects the chicken from drying out.

    I highly recommend that you brine the chicken before cooking as this adds additional moisture as well as flavor, and helps to tenderize the tough fibers.

    carved baked chicken

    What do you serve it with?

    This oven-roasted spatchcock chicken is a great family meal and it’s perfect for occasions and celebrations. Try it with your favorite veggie and potato side dishes like:

    I also like to serve a side salad along with this meal. Here are some of my favorites:

    roasted whole spatchcocked chicken

    TIPS FROM NELI’S KITCHEN

    Recipe Notes and Tips for the Best Spatchcock Chicken recipe

    • If you don’t brine the chicken, when you pat it dry, season the skin with a little salt as this will help to draw the moisture out.
    • Make sure you let the chicken sit at room temperature for 20 – 30 minutes before you apply the butter. The cold chicken can harden the butter and it will be difficult to spread evenly.
    • You can prepare the herb butter a couple of days in advance and store in the refrigerator. Be sure to soften it before you spread it onto the chicken.
    • If the chicken starts to brown too quickly on the top before it is cooked through, loosely cover it with a sheet of foil.
    • Depending on your oven, you may want to rotate the chicken half way through cooking if it is browning more at the back than the front.
    • Use an instant read thermometer to check that you chicken is fully cooked through (and not over cooked). It should register at 165F.
    • Let the chicken rest for 5 – 10 minutes before slicing it. This helps the juices to redistribute back to the meat and it remains moist and juicy.

    More Chicken Recipes

    If you liked this recipe for roasting spatchcock chicken, I am sure you will also love:

    Spatchcock Chicken

    This delicious spatchcock chicken recipe is perfect for a family feast. Made with a lemon, garlic and herb butter rub, this method of cooking a whole chicken is simple and easy and guarantees the most tender, flavorful and juicy results.
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 40 minutes
    Total Time 55 minutes
    Servings 6 servings
    Calories 494kcal

    INGREDIENTS

    • 5 pound whole chicken, giblets removed
    • 1 recipe chicken brine, optional but highly recommended

    Butter rub

    • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt, use 1 teaspoon if you’re not brining your chicken
    • 1 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
    • 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley leaves
    • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
    • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves

    INSTRUCTIONS

    • If you are going to use a chicken brine, prepare the chicken brine according to recipe directions and brine for 8 hours in the refrigerator. The brine is optional but highly recommended.
    • Remove the chicken from the brine. Rinse the chicken with cold water and pat it dry very well with paper towels.
    • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil.
    • Using poultry shears or kitchen shears, remove the backbone of the chicken and cut the cartilage over the breastbone on the inside of the bird where the two breasts join together near the neck.This will allow the chicken to lay flat when you turn it over. Finally, tuck the wings under the rib cage to protect them as they cook.
    • Make the butter rub by mixing softened butter with salt, pepper, parsley, garlic, thyme, and rosemary.
    • Using the back of a spoon, slide it under the skin and gently loosen it and rub some of the butter mixture under the skin. Generously coat the outside of the chicken with the butter mixture.
    • Place the spatchcocked chicken on the baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165 degrees F in both the thigh and the breast. (You can also insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken (breast or thigh).)
    • Remove the chicken from the oven. Loosely cover with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes, then carve and serve.

    TIPS & NOTES

    • If you don’t brine the chicken, when you pat it dry, season the skin with a little salt as this will help to draw the moisture out.
    • If the chicken starts to brown too quickly on the top before it is cooked through, loosely cover it with a sheet of foil.
    • Depending on your oven, you may want to rotate the chicken half way through cooking if it is browning more at the back than the front.
    • Use an instant read thermometer to check that you chicken is fully cooked through (and not over cooked). It should register at 165F.

    NUTRITION

    Calories: 494kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 166mg | Sodium: 639mg | Potassium: 359mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 625IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 2mg
    Course Main Course
    Cuisine American
    Keyword garlic herb roasted chicken, how to spatchcock a chicken, spatchcock roasted chicken
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