Roasted Spatchcock Chicken

Roasted Spatchcock Chicken

Tender moist and flavourfull chicken with a lovely crisp skin.  Cooks to perfection in half the time.


  • 1 medium sized whole chicken, at room temperature
  • 1 stalk of celery, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 carrot, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 parsnip, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and bashed
  • a few sprigs fresh thyme
  • a splash of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 lemons, divided
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 4 TBS softened butter


  1. You will need a good pair of kitchen scissors for this recipe.  Pat your chicken dry with some paper towelling and ten place it onto a large cutting board, bottom side up, neck facing you.  Holding the neck in one hand, and using the kitchen scissors, cut  down along the spine on one side, working as close to the spine as you can so that you don't waste any good meat.  Repeat on the other side.  Wrap the spine (chicken back) up tightly and freeze to make some chicken stock another time.
  2. Flip the chicken over on the cuttong board, breast side up.  Using the heel of your hand press down firmly, flattening the breastbone (you will need to break it) so that the chicken and legs are all one thickness.  I like to tie the legs together and tuck the wing tips under the skin of the thigh. (see photograph)
  3. Mix together the softened butter along with the dried herbs, and the zest of one lemon.  Loosen the skin on both the breasts and the thigh and push some of this mixure under the skin.  Rub any remaining mixture on top and dust generously with salt and black pepper.
  4. Preheat the oven to 225*C/425*F/ gas mark 7.
  5. Place all of the cut vegetables in an oven proof skillet (I use my cast iron one) with a splash of oil, and cook for about 10 minutes, tossing and stirring. Add one of the lemons quartered and then the sprigs of thyme.  Place the spatch-cocked chicken on top of these in the skillet.  Squeeze the juice from the zested lemon over top.
  6. Place the skillet in the preheated oven and roast for about  25 minutes.  Lower the temperature to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.  Baste the chicken and roast for a further 35 to 45 minutes until the chicken juices run clear and the skin is a lovely golden brown. 
  7. Remove from the oven and let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing to serve.  If you wish you can use the pan juices to make a gravy, or you can just spoon a few of them over the sliced chicken to serve.  Delicious!

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