This Herb Roasted Spatchcock Chicken has minimal prep & cooks in just 45mins. Mouthwateringly tender & packed full of flavour, this truly is the BEST spatchcock chicken recipe!
And that’s what’s so perfect about a spatchcock chicken, the fact it’s so quick. Usually when I’m planning on cooking a whole chicken it’s a Sunday job, Saturday at a stretch. But by spatchcocking the chicken you cut the cooking time dramatically, just bung it on a tray with some veg and you’ve got yourself the perfect weeknight din dins.
What is a spatchcock chicken?
Probably a good place to start for those of you who aren’t sure.. Essentially spatchcocking a chicken just means removing the backbone so you can lay it completely flat. By doing this the chicken not only cooks quicker, but also more evenly.
And it’s those two very things that always persuade me to spatchcock a chicken instead of roasting it whole. C’mon, 45mins for a chicken ain’t bad!
Plus the veg you’re cooking it with cooks at a nicer rate. I find that if you’re cooking meat for 1hour+ the veg usually doesn’t come out in the best way.
Plus plus because the chicken cooks at an even rate the breasts stay nice and juicy, which means no need to take out and baste.
Okay hopefully I’ve sold you on convenience, so let’s talk flavour.
Garlic Herb Butter
I know, sounds delicious right? It totally is. Not only does smearing your chicken in a garlic lemon herb butter keep your chicken moist, but the FLAVOUR it adds. Oh the flavour.
I have played around with different herb combos and different oil/butter ratios and here is what I consider to be the perfect balance:
- 4 tbsp Butter
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 cloves of Garlic
- 1 tbsp fresh Sage
- 1 tbsp fresh Parsley
- 1 tbsp fresh Rosemary
- Zest of a small Lemon
- 1 tsp Salt, 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
How to make Garlic Herb Butter
- Place your butter in a bowl and bring it to room temp (or microwave until soft enough to mash).
- Add in all of your ingredients.
- Mash with a fork until evenly incorporated. Keep at room temp.
How to spatchcock a chicken
It’s truly easy so don’t be scared. I’ve condensed it to 4 steps (see photos below) but do check out the video in the recipe card to see it happen live.
- Get your chicken out the fridge 30 minutes beforehand. Cut off any string holding it together.
- Flip it over so it is breast side down. Grab some kitchen shears and cut through the ribs, directly either side of the backbone. Remove backbone and season.
- Flip back over so it is breast side up and push down with the palm of your hands to completely flatten, then use a spoon to loosen up the skin.
- Spread 2/3 of your butter under the skin and the final 1/3 on top. Give a final pinch of salt and pepper.
Tips for spatchcock chicken
- Once you’ve removed the backbone, use a sharp knife to slice down the centre of the sternum. This will help flatten when you flip and push down.
- Save the backbone to use in stocks at a later date.
- Remove/trim any excess skin, mainly around the rear and neck area.
- Pat the skin with a paper towel to make it as dry as possible. This will make the chicken easier to handle and also finish with a crisper skin.
Okay, so you’ve got your spatchcock chicken, you’ve smeared it in the most gorgeous herb butter in the world, now it’s time to cook.
For me I usually go with carrots, potato and onions, but you could use sprouts, parsnips or sweet potatoes.
How to cook spatchcock chicken
- Place your veg in a tray with a good drizzle of olive oil and seasoning.
- Make space for the chicken and place any leftover sage/rosemary in the centre with 2 thin lemon rounds on top.
- Place chicken on top and roast undisturbed for 45mins at 220c/425f or until it reads 75C/165F or until juices run clear when pierced at the join between the drumstick and the body.
Alright, nearly there.
Once the chicken is cooked, make sure you let it rest for at least 10 mins. Make sure you don’t cover it whilst resting, this will cause the steam to make the skin go soggy.
Remove the veg from the pan, because it’s time for…
Easy homemade chicken gravy
Whatever you do, do NOT waste the juices left in the pan. There’s so much flavour in those juices, it’s almost criminal not to put it to good use.
Just whack your tray over medium heat and stir in some flour to form a paste. Then slowly whisk in some chicken stock and voila! The easiest most delicious gravy is yours for the keeping.
So for a relatively quick and no fuss dinner, spare this herb roasted spatchcock chicken a thought! So full of flavour and mouthwateringly juicy, you’d be a fool not to give this fool-proof recipe a go 🙂
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How to make a Herb Roasted Spatchcock Chicken (Full Recipe & Video)
Herb Roasted Spatchcock Chicken
- 3.3lb/1.5kg - 4lb/1.8kg Whole Chicken
Garlic Herb Butter
- 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temp
- 3 cloves of Garlic, grated/minced
- 1 tbsp Fresh Sage, finely diced
- 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, finely diced
- 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley, finely diced
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 small Lemon (zest only)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 8-12 Baby Potatoes, halved
- 6-8 medium Carrots, scrubbed & halved
- 1 large Onion, sliced
- 2 sprigs of leftover Sage/Rosemary + 2 thin rounds of Lemon
- Salt & Pepper
- Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Plain Flour
- 2 cups / 500ml Chicken Stock
- Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
- Take chicken out the fridge 30mins before you start.
- Combine all of your herb butter ingredients and place to one side.
- In a large tray, combine your carrots, onion and potatoes in a good drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Create space for your chicken, then lay any leftover sage/rosemary with two rounds of lemon.
- Pre heat oven to 220c/425f.
- Take your chicken and flip over so it is breast side down. Using a pair of kitchen shears cut through the ribs directly either side of the back bone. Completely remove backbone (you can use this another time for stock) and open up the chicken.
- Open up the rib cage and slice along the sternum. This will help the breast bone pop out. Season the inside with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Flip the chicken over and push down on the breasts to fully flatten. Pat dry with a paper towel then use a spoon to loosen the skin from the meat. Spoon in 2/3 of your butter then spread the rest on top. Finish with an extra pinch of salt and pepper, then place on top of the herbs/lemon on the tray.
- Place in the oven for 45mins undisturbed, or until the internal temperature is 75c/165f with the juices running clear when pierced at the join between the drumstick and the body. Then let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Do not cover, it will trap the steam and make the skin soggy.
- Place tray with leftover juices on a medium heat and stir in flour to create a paste. Slowly pour in chicken stock and stir until thickened. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Quick 1 min demo!
For another easy chicken dinner recipe check out my Spanish Chicken Tray Bake!