my kitchen

what in the spatchcock!?

May 20, 2013

Spatchcock! What a great word! So what is it? In simplest terms, it’s a method of splitting a whole chicken so that it lies almost completely flat on a roasting pan. So why spatchcock?

Spatchcocking poultry is an easy way to speed up the process of roasting a whole bird while maintaining a tender and tasty end-result. There are tons and tons of recipes out there, but this is how I recently prepared my version.


You will need

  • whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry
  • one lemon
  • fresh thyme
  • medium sweet onion
  • olive oil
  • salt  and pepper

In a large roasting pan place fresh thyme, sliced lemon and sliced sweet onion. Prepare the whole chicken by thoroughly rinsing with water and patting dry. Using kitchen shears start at the cavity on the breast-side and cut all the way through. (It’s kind of gross but necessary.) The idea is to end up with a whole chicken that lays as flat as possible. You can also clip the wings and separate the thighs to spread out the bird even more.


Once in the roasting pan brush the chicken with oil, for juicy and crispy skin, and add fresh cracked pepper and salt. Last, add two cups of water. I typically do this for the added benefit of having delicious lemon & thyme chicken stock which I can then use in future recipes. (I also end up with some chicken fat that, after refrigeration, will congeal and rise to the top… also great for cooking.)



Bake at 350°F for an hour and finish for another 20-30 minutes at 375°F. Check internal temperature for that magic 165°F reading.


Serve with the side dish of your choosing!


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1 Comment

  • Avatar
    Reply Vijay @ NoshOnIt May 20, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    This is one of my favorite techniques as well! I do it in a cast iron and sear the skin side down first, then, I add the veggies to the pan, flip the bird over, and roast it off the rest of the way.

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