Evenly cooked chicken has never been simpler. This Easy Spatchcock Chicken recipe ensures evenly cooked chicken with a crispy skin, and a tasty butter layer keeps meat nice and juicy. Pair it with roasted veggies for a complete and nutritious meal!
Your new favorite chicken cooking method
When cooking an entire chicken, it often feels like it doesn’t cook evenly. You wind up with dryer pieces here, and undercooked pieces there. That’s where spatchcock chicken comes in! With this cooking method, we remove the spine and flatten everything out to help the chicken cook evenly. Then, we take it step further by placing butter on and under the skin, creating the juiciest result!
This recipe comes together with flavorings like butter, salt, pepper, thyme, lemon juice, and more. We’re pairing it with hearty veggies (brussels sprouts and carrots) and potatoes for a well rounded, satisfying meal.
Ingredients used to make spatchcock chicken
Ready to dive in? Below are all of the ingredients we’ll use in this recipe, listed in the order that they’re used. You’re going to love how the lemon zest and juice adds so much flavor!
- Chicken: First up for this recipe, you will need a 4-4.5 lb whole chicken.
- Salt and pepper: Next up is salt and pepper. We’ll use enough to completely cover the chicken on all sides.
- Butter: 1 stick (1/2 cup) of softened butter will be used to create a delicious flavored butter mixture.
- Olive oil: 2 tbsp of olive oil will help us combine the butter with the flavorings.
- Garlic: 3 cloves of minced garlic adds a world of flavor to the dish. If using garlic powder, use 3/4 tsp.
- Thyme: Thyme will add some nice herby flavor to the dish. Use 2 tbsp fresh.
- Lemon zest: Add a nice tangy touch with 1/2 tsp of lemon zest.
- Lemon juice: Then, take the zest up a notch with 1 tbsp of lemon juice.
- Salt and pepper: 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper will be used in the butter mixture.
- Potatoes: 2 lbs of baby potatoes make a great side. Halve them before cooking.
- Brussels sprouts: 8oz of halved Brussels sprouts are a great side veggie for the chicken!
- Carrots: Finish off the vegetables with 5 large carrots, diced into chunks.
- Olive oil: 1/4 cup of olive oil will help the veggies cook up nicely.
- Salt and pepper: Last but not least, salt and pepper will be used to add flavor to the vegetables.
Tools needed to spatchcock chicken
To make this easy spatchcock chicken recipe, you will need some kitchen tools and measuring cups. Below is a full list, which is handy if you’d like to gather everything before you begin.
- Paper towels
- Cutting board
- Kitchen scissors
- Stirring utensil
- Wire cookie rack
- 2 Baking sheets
- Parchment paper
For measuring out ingredients, you will need 1/2 tsp, 1 tbsp, and 1/4 cup sized measuring cups.
How to make this spatchcock chicken recipe
This recipe comes together easily with about 15 minutes of prep time and 50 minutes of cooking time. Whether you’re a seasoned spatchcock chicken professional or this is your first time trying out the cooking method, you’ll find this recipe to be an easy one!
Begin by removing the chicken from the packaging and patting it dry with the paper towel.
From there, begin the spatchcock process. Place the chicken breast side down on a clean cutting board. Using kitchen scissors, cut down one site of the spine. Cut through the ribs and keep the cuts as close to the spine as possible. Repeat on the other side and discard the spine.
Flip the chicken breast side up and use the palm of your hand to press the breast bone and flatten the chicken. You may hear a crack, which is normal. Using your fingers, run them under the skin of the entire bird to loosen the skin away from the meat. We will put pockets of butter under the skin.
Next, cover the entire chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. If you’d like your skin to be crispier at the end, let it rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour to dry out the skin.
From here, grab a bowl and mix together the softened butter, olive oil, thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Once ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425°F. Spread the butter mixture all over the chicken, under the skin, on top of the whole body, and in every crack. It should be completely covered in butter, underneath and on the surface.
Place the chicken on a wire cookie rack on top of a foil lined baking sheet. The airflow will help the underside of the skin get crispy.
If you’re cooking veggies, wash and chop them and then toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet, placed on the top rack in the same oven as the chicken. Bake for 45 minutes, tossing every 15.
Simultaneously bake the chicken for 45-50 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 155°F. It will continue to cook once removed from the oven. A meat thermometer will be the best way to tell if the chicken is done. You will hear a crackling noise from the chicken and butter, but leave it uncovered if you can.
Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.
What to pair with this easy chicken and veggies recipe
This chicken dish pairs wonderfully with a wide variety of sides! Enjoy it with Cornbread Sausage Stuffing for the ultimate comfort meal, Classic Mac and Cheese for a kiddo-approved option, Healthy Green Bean Casserole for even more veggies, or Easy Avocado Feta Dip for the perfect appetizer!
Have leftovers? Once the spatchcock chicken cools, transfer it to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator. You can enjoy it for up to 3 days. The same goes for the veggies! When ready to enjoy, reheat in the oven until warm.
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
Whether you’re in the mood for soup or BBQ or you want an Asian-inspired dish, there’s a chicken recipe for that! Try one of these next.
- Cider Braised Chicken
- Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- Sticky Chicken Rice Bowls
- Grilled BBQ Chicken Pizza
All recipes by Erin Morrissey and Photos by Sierra Inn
- 4 – 4.5lb whole chicken
- salt + pepper
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 lbs baby potatoes, halved
- 8oz bag brussels sprouts, halved
- 5 large carrots, diced into large chunks
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt + pepper
- Take chicken out of packaging and pat dry with paper towel.
- To spatchcock chicken: place chicken breast side down on a clean cutting board. Using kitchen scissors, cut down one side of the spine, cutting through the ribs keeping cuts as close to the spine as possible. Repeat on the other side and discard the spine. Flip the chicken breast side up and using the palm of your hand, press into the breast bone to completely flatten the chicken. You may hear a crack and thats ok! Now using your fingers, run them under the skin of the entire bird to loosen the skin away from the meat. We will be putting pockets of butter under the skin so you want it to be able to get everywhere.
- Liberally cover the entire chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Let rest in fridge for 1 hour to dry out skin. This is optional but provides crispier skin.
- In a bowl, mix together softened butter, olive oil, thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Once ready to cook, preheat oven to 425F. Spread butter mixture all over chicken, under all the skin pockets, on top of the whole body and in every crack. It should be completely covered in butter, underneath and on the surface.
- Place chicken on wire cookie rack on stop of foil lined baking sheet. This will help the underside skin get crispy because of airflow.
- If cooking veggies, wash and chop, then toss in olive oil and salt and pepper, and bake on top rack on parchment lined baking sheet in same oven as chicken for 45 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes.
- Bake chicken for 45-50 minutes or until internal temperature reads 155F. It will continue to cook once taken out of the oven. A meat thermometer will be the best way to tell if the chicken is done. You will hear crackling noise from the chicken and butter but leave uncovered if you can!
- Let cool 10 minutes before cutting into.
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