I love roasted chicken, which our family always welcomes with open arms.  Always our go-to dinner.

However, I have something different here, which I know you will enjoy.

Chicken spatchcocked is one of the best inventions for busy families.

Chicken Spatchcocked

Making a roasted chicken can sometimes be a daunting experience.  Is it cooked long enough? When would it be ready? Questions that, at one point and time, we all asked ourselves.

Here we have a perfect open-faced chicken, rubbed with salt and lots of butter, roasted over a bed of vegetables and chicken stock to give it a perfect aroma and keep it moist.

The chicken cooking is quicker and more even this way. The chicken skin, my favorite part, is nice and crisp. The breast, thighs, and legs were perfectly cooked and tender.

The perfect dinner any time of the year, and with the holidays just around the corner, it should have a spot on your menu.

If you are alone for the Holidays or have a couple of friends over, this is a perfect alternative.

In this Article

What is spatchcocking a chicken?

Spatchcocked is a chicken that has been butterflied by removing the backbone, allowing it to be completely open and flattened out.

Using this method will significantly reduce the cooking time, and allows the whole chicken, or turkey if you so feel inclined, to be cooked faster.

Grilling, pan frying, or oven roasting are great ways to enjoy this cooking method.

If you are uncomfortable using the knife to remove the backbone, you can use large kitchen scissors instead.

With the back of your hand, push down to facilitate breaking the bone.

Chicken Spatchcocked

Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed

You can find the printable recipe with all the correct ingredient amounts at the bottom of this post. Besides the staple salt and pepper, you will need:

Chicken: 5 pounds of chicken. Remove any extra fat.

Lemons: they give out the perfect aromatic scent to this dish.

Fresh Thyme: the ideal companion for all poultry.

Ginger: Fresh, peeled, and sliced will bring a new level of flavor to your chicken recipe

Vidalia onion: Sweeter and adds many flavors combined with lemon and ginger.

Garlic cloves: bring a lot of flavors when cooked. Add so much depth to this chicken dish.

Unsalted butter: used between the skin and meat, it tenderizes the meat while keeping the skin moist.

Chicken Stock: If you can purchase sodium free. Vegetable stock can also be used.

White wine: Use good white wine to give a fruity flavor to your dish.

Chicken Spatchcocked

Equipment needed

I have a kitchen filled with gadgets and cooking tools, all I purchased. I only recommend what I use and love.

Therefore to achieve this recipe, I used the following:

Cutting board A solid large is always one of my favorites to work with.

Chef’s knife or pair of kitchen shears.

Cookie sheet Easiest way to cook the chicken spatchcocked

Wire rack To bake the chicken over and not sit on any fat that the chicken has

Platter to serve a beautiful large plate to bring to the table.

Cooking tips and step-by-step instructions to create this excellent Chicken Spatchcocked recipe.

Rubbing salt under the skin of the chicken added tons of flavor to the meat. The butter intensified that flavor.

I used the wire rack over a cookie sheet and placed the chicken over it. This way, my chicken would not sit on the fat that the chicken may render.

Meanwhile, keeping the chicken moist and adding the bold lemon-garlic-onion flavor, yet not overpowering it.

  • I am using a large chef’s knife or poultry sheers to cut alongside the backbone and separate it from the chicken. Once removed, you may freeze it to make stock later or discard it.
  • Having the chicken breast facing you,  place it on a cutting board, and with the heel of your hand, push it down until you hear a crack and it becomes flat.
  • I like, at this point, to clean it, remove any extra bits of fat from the internal bones and pat it dry.
  • Now that it is flat on a cutting board, the skin facing you gently starts losing the skin around the neck, breasts, and thighs. You can do this with your finger to better control that you do not pierce the skin.  Be careful not to remove it altogether.
  • Rub sea salt under the skin. Place the butter under the skin and season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • On a clean large rimmed baking sheet, your chicken should fit perfectly and not hang over the sides; spread the lemon slices, thyme, sliced onion, garlic, and ginger to cover the bottom of the cookie sheet.
  • Position the wire rack over the lemon-onion mixture.
  • Once secured, place the flattened-out chicken over the rack, breast side up, facing you.
  • Add the wine and one and a half cups of chicken stock.
  • Roast the chicken in the preheated oven, rotating halfway thru the roasting process.
  • Poke gently around the breast and tight connection to let out any juices.
  • Let it rest before carving.

How to serve it

You can cut it before serving it to your table, or you can leave it as it is, whole, served with some sliced lemon wedges around it.

You can cut it at the table with a chef’s knife or cooking shears. Because you have no backbone, it will be straightforward to separate it.

Arrange some fresh thyme for decoration.

Here are some of my suggestions for side dishes.

Some easy recipes that are delicious alongside your chicken.

Green Beans Gremolata 

Carrot Salad

Potatoes Boulangere with Bacon

Chicken Spatchcocked

Storage and reheating instructions

With all the accumulated juices, this chicken will store well in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

Once ready to enjoy it again, bring it back to room temperature before proceeding with the following.

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Place the chicken and all the juices in an ovenproof dish.
  • If you do not have enough juice, add more chicken stock to your dish. This will prevent burning.
  • With the help of a spatula, spread some butter on one side of a sheet of aluminum foil.
  • Cover the chicken with the aluminum foil, the butter side facing the chicken.
  • Seal well at the edges and place in your oven.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes. Not all ovens work the same, so the chicken has to be warm/hot and not to burn.

Equipment used to create this recipe of spatchcocked chicken.

Chicken Spatchcocked

5 from 16 votes
Chicken Spatchcocked
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Here we have a perfect open-faced chicken, rubbed with salt and lots of butter, roasted over a bed of vegetables and chicken stock to give it a perfect aroma and keep it moist.


  • 5 pounds whole chicken
  • 3 lemons, sliced
  • fresh thyme springs
  • 1 2-inch ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 vadalia onion, peeled and sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled, hard end removed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 cups chicken stock,
  • 1 cup white wine
  • salt
  • pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Place the chicken breast side down on a cutting board. Using a chef’s knife or poultry shears, cut along each side of the backbone, separating the backbone from the chicken. Remove the backbone and save it for stock or discard it.
  • Turn the chicken, breast side up facing you, on a cutting board. With the heel of your hands, press firmly against the breastbone until it cracks and it lays flat. 
  • Start at the neck and loosen and lift the skin around the breasts and around the thighs part of the chicken. Gently push between skin and meat (be careful not to detach skin completely) and rub salt under the skin. Place the cut butter under the skin. Sprinkle generously salt and pepper all over the cavity and the all over skin.
  • On a large cookie sheet, spread the lemon, thyme, sliced onion, garlic, and ginger to cover the bottom. Sprinkle with salt. Place the wire rack over the lemon onion mixture and place the flattened chicken breast side up, in the middle of the rack. Add the wine and 1 ½ cups of chicken stock. 
  • Roast the chicken in the preheated oven. Add more chicken stock to the cookie sheet if it starts to dry out. Rotate the chicken halfway through roasting time. Poke gently with a fork the breast at the tight junction to let out any juices.
  • Bake for 1 to 1 ½ hours. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.


Calories: 714kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 225mg | Sodium: 288mg | Potassium: 705mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 535IU | Vitamin C: 27.8mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 3.1mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

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Originally published on November 19, 2019. Updated on December 15, 2022