Oven-Roasted Spatchcocked Chicken Recipe

Our oven-roasted spatchcocked chicken recipe ensures you end up with perfectly cooked chicken in little time. Marinated in a mix of fresh herbs and olive oil, this is a moist, flavorful way to cook a whole chicken at home.

Roasting a whole chicken is considered a hallmark of domesticity, almost a rite of passage into adulthood, says food blogger and photographer Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant's Table. Many of us associate whole roasted chicken with Sunday night dinners, families gathered around a table, and a spread that looks like it was taken out of a Norman Rockwell painting.

But when many of us live in cramped rental apartments with small ovens, or have little time to spend waiting for an entire chicken to cook through, does that mean that a perfectly roasted chicken must remain woefully out of reach?

Not so — at least once you master the art of spatchcocking a chicken. This technique, developed initially for small birds, allows you to flatten a whole chicken in two quick cuts. This means the chicken cooks in a fraction of the time.

Now, all that stands between you and a perfect oven-roasted spatchcocked chicken is a couple of steps. So what are you waiting for? Get cooking!

Gather the ingredients for oven-roasted spatchcocked chicken

First off, you'll need to choose the right chicken for your whole roasted chicken experience. The spatchcock method was first invented for smaller birds, so you cannot go wrong with an organic, free-range bird, which tend to be of a smaller size. However, you can also easily go with a regular-sized whole chicken — anything about 3 ½ to 4 ½ pounds will work.

Other than the chicken, you'll need a selection of fresh herbs. Prints went with parsley, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme, but you could use whatever herbs you love and have on hand. Make you sure you have about 1 ½ cups of fresh herbs in total, and you're good to go.

To supplement the herbs, you'll also need olive oil, salt, and black pepper.

Finally, Prints also surrounded the chicken with baby potatoes, but you can use any potatoes you have on hand. If using large potatoes, dice or quarter them.

Preheat the oven and remove the chicken's backbone

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Prep a baking sheet by covering it with parchment paper or reusable silicone mat. Making a whole chicken can get messy, so make sure you cover your baking sheet to avoid cleaning caked-on chicken jus.

To spatchcock the chicken, pat dry the whole chicken with paper towels. Set the chicken on a cutting board breast side down with the wings and neck facing towards you. Identify the backbone and, using kitchen shears, cut along the spice and through the ribs. Remove the backbone completely (it can be used to make broth).

Crack the breastbone to flatten the chicken

Now flip the chicken over to the other side. With the wings facing you, identify the cartilage at the top of the breastbone.

Use a sharp knife to cut through the cartilage, then use your hands to pop the breastbone up. This will allow you to flatten the chicken fully.

There is no need to remove the breastbone completely, as it helps keep the chicken moist while cooking — though if you do get carried away and it comes out, it's not a big deal!

Transfer the chicken to the baking sheet.

Prepare the herb sauce for the chicken

To prepare the sauce that will coat the chicken, combine the fresh herbs and half the salt and pepper in a blender.

Working in short pulses, chop the herbs as much as possible.

Begin slowly drizzling in half a cup of olive oil while blending the herbs fully. You might need to add a touch more oil to get to the desired consistency, which should be like a runny pesto (it's okay to have some larger chunks of herbs — they'll give the chicken skin more texture).

Taste the pesto and add more salt or pepper if needed.

Coat the chicken with the sauce

Pour the herb sauce on top of the chicken on both sides, and massage it to get the sauce into all the nooks and crannies.

Arrange the potatoes around the chicken on the baking sheet, and drizzle them with the remaining quarter cup of olive oil and season them with a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of pepper. If you have any of the herb sauce you used for the chicken left that you didn't scrape out of the blender, pour it on top of the potatoes.

Transfer the marinated spatchcocked chicken to the oven and bake it uncovered for 45 min, or until a thermometer inserted into the chicken reads 160 F.

Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve your oven-roasted spatchcocked chicken

Once the chicken has cooled enough to touch, carve the chicken to your liking. We recommend removing the wings, the drumsticks with thighs, and then carving out the breast meat into slices.

Serve the oven-roasted spatchcock with potatoes and any leftover juices. You can also dress the chicken with additional fresh herbs for a fresh look. Any dry or semi-dry white wine will serve as a good accompaniment, as would a lighter red like a Cabernet Sauvignon.

This chicken makes for a great main dish for any special dinner. You can also vary the herbs based on the season. In fall and winter, use more rosemary, thyme, and sage. In summer and spring, more cilantro, parsley, or even green onions or garlic scapes will work very well.

Leftovers will keep in an airtight container for four days.

Oven-Roasted Spatchcocked Chicken Recipe
4.8 from 6 ratings
Our oven-roasted spatchcocked chicken recipe is marinated in a mix of fresh herbs and olive oil for a moist, flavorful way to cook a whole chicken at home.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
45
minutes
Servings
8
servings
a plate of chicken with potatoes
Total time: 55 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 (3 ½ to 4 ½ pound) whole chicken
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup fresh oregano
  • ⅛ cup fresh rosemary, plus more for topping
  • ⅛ cup fresh sage
  • ¼ cup fresh thyme
  • ¾ cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 pound baby potatoes
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Prep a baking sheet by covering it with parchment paper or a reusable silicone mat.
  3. To spatchcock the chicken, pat it dry with paper towels and set it on a cutting board breast side down with the wings and neck facing towards you.
  4. Identify the backbone and use kitchen shears to cut along the spine and through the ribs.
  5. Remove the backbone completely.
  6. Flip the chicken over. With the wings facing you, identify the cartilage at the top of the breastbone.
  7. Use a sharp knife to cut through the cartilage, then use your hands to pop the breastbone up. This will allow you to flatten the chicken fully.
  8. Set the chicken aside on the baking sheet.
  9. To prepare the sauce, combine the fresh herbs and half the salt and pepper in a blender. Working in short pulses, chop the herbs as much as possible.
  10. Begin slowly drizzling in ½ cup of olive oil while blending the herbs fully. Add more oil if needed to get to the desired consistency of a runny pesto.
  11. Taste the sauce and add more salt or pepper if needed.
  12. Pour the herb sauce on top of the chicken on both sides, and massage it into all the nooks and crannies.
  13. Arrange the potatoes around the chicken, drizzle them with remaining ¼ cup olive oil, and season them with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
  14. Transfer the chicken to the oven and bake uncovered for 45 min, or until a thermometer inserted into the chicken reads 160 F.
  15. Remove the spatchcocked chicken from the oven and let it rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes before serving.
  16. Once it's cooled enough to handle, carve the chicken and serve it with the potatoes.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 569
Total Fat 43.9 g
Saturated Fat 9.6 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 115.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 13.0 g
Dietary Fiber 3.1 g
Total Sugars 0.6 g
Sodium 696.1 mg
Protein 30.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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