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Roasted Spatchcock Chicken

Cook Time:
40 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins

Chef notes

I am a total sucker for a good roasted chicken. When you spatchcock a whole chicken, versus roasting it traditionally, it speeds up the cooking process. This technique is especially helpful on a school night!

Technique tip: Be sure the oil is very hot, just before it starts to smoke so that the chicken skin immediately starts to render and crisp as soon as it hits the pan.

Swap option: You can swap any hearty herb for the rosemary or thyme, like oregano, marjoram or sage.


  • 1 (3½-pound) whole chicken, spatchcocked
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 heads garlic, cut in half horizontally
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon, cut in half horizontally



To spatchcock the chicken: Place chicken, breast-side down, on a cutting board. Using a chef's knife or kitchen shears, cut along one side of the backbone and repeat on the other side to remove the backbone completely. Turn the chicken over, breast-side up, and press down on the breastbones with the heel of your hand until they crack. Tuck the wing tips under the chicken so they don't burn while roasting.


Preheat the oven to 400 F. Rinse the chicken, pat dry and rub all over with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Generously season on both sides with salt and pepper.


Heat a large cast iron or ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is hot, place the chicken, skin-side down, in the pan. Cook until the skin starts to crisp on the edges and the color is golden-brown.


Flip the chicken over with tongs, taking care not to splatter oil towards yourself, and add the garlic, rosemary and thyme around the chicken in the pan. Squeeze one of the lemon halves over the top and place the other half in the pan, cut-side down.


Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the chicken, skin-side up, for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 155 F when inserted in the thickest part of a breast. Let rest for about 10 minutes, then carve and serve with pan juices.