Monday, October 14, 2013

Whole Roast (Spatchcocked) Chicken

Roast chicken is a favourite of mine to cook and a family favourite to eat, so I was very happy to discover a method years ago that got it to the table faster and with more consistent results than roasting it in its original form.
Spatchcocking is an easy method of preparing a chicken, or any bird, for roasting (or grilling) that allows it to cook more evenly and produces tender and juicy meat with crisp, golden skin. This technique involves simply removing the backbone from the chicken, opening it out and flattening it so all of the parts are of similar thickness.

Whole Roast (Spatchcocked) Chicken
serves 4-6

preparation time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 45-50 minutes 

1.5-1.6kg fresh chicken, neck and innards removed 
*salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

*The chicken can be seasoned with any flavourings you like: chopped fresh or dried herbs (thyme, sage or rosemary are particularly good), minced garlic, the juice and grated zest of a lemon, your favourite seasoning blend etc.....the possibilities are endless.


Preheat the oven to 200C(400F). Line a shallow baking pan at least 23cm x 32.5cm (9"x13") in size with parchment.  

Rinse the chicken under cold, running water and pat dry. Don't forget to rinse and dry the cavity. 
raw chicken inverted chicken
Make sure you use a dedicated meat cutting board, one that's used for raw meat only, and one that's dishwasher safe. Disinfect all surfaces that come in contact with the raw chicken as you go to avoid cross-contamination (don't forget the sink you've rinsed it in). Place the chicken breast side down on the cutting board.
remove backbone trim skin
Using sturdy kitchen shears and starting at the tail, cut beside the backbone towards the neck of the bird. Repeat on the other side and remove the backbone. Open the chicken up and trim any excess skin and fat from the thighs and neck area. 
butterflied chicken flatten chicken
Invert the chicken so it's breast side up. You'll notice that the breast is still raised. To flatten it, place the heel of your hand on the breast and press down firmly. You'll feel the breastbone give and the chicken will be more level.
seasoned chicken roasted chicken
Transfer the bird to the prepared pan. Season both sides with *salt and pepper (and anything else of your choice) and arrange it breast side up. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and rub to distribute it evenly. Make sure to tuck the wing tips under the bird so they don't burn. Roast 45-50 minutes on the middle rack in the oven, basting with the pan juices after 30 minutes. The chicken is done when the juices run clear when pierced with a sharp knife. Remove the pan from the oven, cover loosely with foil and allow the bird to rest 5-10 minutes.
To serve, using a sharp knife, remove the legs; this really just involves cutting through skin. Separate the drumsticks from the thighs by cutting through the joint. Cut between the breasts and then cut each one in half. Arrange the pieces on a platter, drizzle with some of the pan juices and serve!


  1. Hi Zosia,
    Wow, looks so delicious! Roasted chicken never fails to bring delight to my dinner table at home! This would definitely bring lots of happy smiles!

  2. Thank you, Joyce. My family's the same - always happy to see roast chicken on the table.


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