Spatchcock chicken

    50 min

    Spatchcock two whole chickens by removing their backbone and flattening them before roasting them with lemon and spices. You will get golden crisp skin and juicy meat, in about half the time it takes to roast a whole chicken. You can make a delicious gravy by adding a splash of white wine to the roasting tin at the end, encouraging all those delicious sticky bits to dissolve.

    2 people made this

    Makes: 2 roast chickens

    • 2 (1.5kg) whole chickens
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 4 teaspoons olive oil
    • 2 lemons, thinly sliced and seeded

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:35min  ›  Extra time:5min resting  ›  Ready in:50min 

    1. Preheat oven to 230 C / Gas 8.
    2. Place chicken, breast side down, on a work surface. Starting at the tail end, cut along both sides of backbone with kitchen scissors. Remove backbone. Grabbing hold of both sides of the chicken, open it like a book. Turn breast side up. Push down on each side of breast with your hands until you hear it crack. Flatten chicken and transfer to one end of a large rimmed baking tray. Repeat with the second chicken.
    3. Combine salt, tarragon, paprika and pepper in a small bowl. Stir in oil. Run your fingers under chicken skin and rub tarragon paste under skin. Slide lemon slices under skin in a single layer.
    4. Roast until skin is crisp and chicken is no longer pink, about 35 minutes. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before slicing each chicken into 8 pieces.


    Your local butcher can spatchcock your chicken for you if you prefer.

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    Reviews in English (4)


    Delicious, Juicy & Tender Chicken! I tweaked spices to my personal preference then followed recipe after that, minus the lemon slices. I instead used a fusion of balsamic vinegar and Meyer lemon juice. **I also used convection oven setting set at 425*F for about 45-50 minutes for a 6.25 lb spatchcock chicken. Chicken was perfect at 160*F w/nice crispy skin (which I always remove for myself).  -  12 Aug 2017  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    If you use one chicken instead of the two that the recipe calls for, be careful of the salt amount. Also, ask your butcher to split and flatten your chicken for you. I like a hint of lemon so I just used the juice of one lemon on my one chicken. I will definitely make again. Thank You for your recipe  -  07 Jul 2017  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I had a couple of issues with this recipe. First, I am still really surprised that my smoke alarm didn't go off. Having my oven at such a high temperature created tons of thick, eye-watering, cough-inducing smoke. Second, I found it way too salty. Maybe cut the salt down to half - or even lower. I'm real sensitive to salt and this I really felt, was way too much. Lastly, I found the chicken (especially the breasts) to be dry. Yeah, the skin was great...lovely and crisp but again, way too salty. I have a method of roasting a chicken, done standing up in a 400 degree oven for one hour and it comes out tender, juicy and best of all...NO SMOKE!!  -  17 Jun 2017  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)

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