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Spatchcock Chicken image on white plate - taken by photographer Mike McCune
Photo by Mike McCune

Spatchcocking is a process that splits and flattens a whole chicken. This decreases roasting time while increasing the moisture of the meat and crispness of the skin. 

6 Servings
Preparation time
25 minutes
Cooking time
45 minutes
Total time
1 hour, 10 minutes
1 whole chicken (approximately 4 pounds)
2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 carrots
6 Yukon potatoes
1 white onion
C olive oil (use slightly more with larger chicken)
1 tsp dried thyme
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste )
1 lemon

1. Position oven rack n the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 475F

2. Chop carrot, Yukon Potatoes, and onion into large, evenly-sized pieces and place pieces in a large bowl.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, dried thyme, the juice of one whole lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. 

4. Drizzle one half of the oil mixture over the cut vegetables. Toss to ensure the vegetables are well coasted with oil. Set aside. 

5. Place the whole chicken breast side down on a large cutting board. Locate the backbone. With sharp kitchen shears, cut down one side of the spine; cut down the other side of the backbone to remove the bone completely. (Reserve the backbone to use for chicken stock.)

6. Pull the chicken open slightly and flip to lay the chicken on the cutting board flat and breast side up. To further flatten the chicken, press down firmly on the center of the breast. you will hear the bone "pop"; the chicken should now lay relatively flat. 

7. Sprinkle up to 2 Tbsp of salt all over chicken; press salt slightly into the chicken.

8. Distribute 2 Tbsp olive oil evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Place chicken skin-side up in the center of the baking sheet. Brush the remaining oil marinade mixture onto the skin of the hcikcen.

9. Distribute prepared veggies evenly around the chicken in a single layer.

10. Roast at 475F for 15 minutes, then lower the over to 400F and roast for another 20-30 minutes. The chicken is fully cooked when the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165F

*If Yukon potatoes are not available, use red or russet potatoes, a yellow onion can be used in place of white. 



Watch Kellogg's Kitchen—Rustic Spatchcock Chicken and Homemade Stock for a few visual tricks and more on how to use up any great leftovers. 


Photo Mike McCune