This beautiful Roasted Spatchcock Chicken comes out golden, juicy, and mouthwatering thanks to a butter rub with herbs, spices, garlic, and lemon! The optional roasted radishes and brussels sprouts make it a seasonal dinner the family will devour!
My Favorite Way to Roast a Whole Chicken
I’m using my oven more and more lately and bidding a sad farewell to my grill. Well, maybe not a total farewell, but it’s definitely looking a lot more like roast chicken weather than grilled shrimp kabobs, you know? And, when it comes to a roast chicken, this spatchcock recipe with a savory seasoned butter rub is one of my ultimate favorites!
You can make this recipe with or without the roasted veggies, but let me just tell you—they are good! Instead of the usual potatoes, we’re doing roasted radishes, which are a delicious change.
While raw radishes have a sharp and spicy bite, roasted radishes are much more mellow, with a wonderfully deep and earthy vibe. Plus, they’re low carb! Along with brussels sprouts, these are the perfect roasted fall vegetables side dish.
What is the spatchcock method?
You might be wondering just what “spatchcock chicken” means, and if so, you’re not alone! The term “spatchcock” may or may not have originated in Ireland. Some experts say that the word comes from the phrase “dispatch the cock,” meaning “kill the chicken.”
Others disagree and say it comes from an older cooking expression that has to do with broiling. Either way, this old-school technique is great for quickly grilling, broiling, or roasting a juicy chicken!
Essentially, spatchcocking means “butterflying” a whole chicken, or laying the chicken out flat. First, the backbone of the chicken is removed, usually with kitchen shears. From there, you can open the chicken out like a book, with the thighs and wings to the sides, and the breasts in the center.
Some people also trim off the wing tips to prevent burning. I just tuck them underneath the chicken and that works 100% of the time.
Finally, lay the chicken on a grill or a sheet pan, and you’re ready to go!
So what will you need to make your own spatchcock chicken at home? Let’s take a look at the list of ingredients below, and then get into the instructions. (Note: to see the complete recipe with amounts and nutrition info, please scroll to the bottom of the post!)
For the Chicken:
- Chicken: This recipe makes one 4 to 4 ½ pound chicken.
- Butter: Soften about 3 tablespoons butter, to rub all over the chicken.
- Garlic: I use fresh garlic for a bright and intense taste.
- Lemon Zest: Rather than using lemon juice, zest gives a subtler lemon flavor.
- Garlic Powder and Onion Powder: These spices have a less sharp, but intense and savory flavor. They really make this chicken taste richly seasoned.
- Oregano and Thyme: I like to use half a tablespoon of each of these (dried). You could change it up and use other herbs, though.
- Paprika: This under-appreciated spice is made of ground dried red peppers. It adds both an earthy flavor and a deeper color when the chicken browns.
- Salt and Pepper: About half a teaspoon each, or to taste.
For the Vegetables (Optional):
- Radishes: Wash and trim two pounds of whole radishes, and then cut them in half. If you prefer, substitute potatoes or even chunks of turnip.
- Brussels Sprouts: The brussels sprouts are super tasty, and look beautiful cut in half. You can see all the layers of tiny leaves!
- Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper: For tossing with the veggies, to season.
How to Make Roasted Spatchcock Chicken
To make the chicken,.you’ll use sharp kitchen shears to spatchcock the bird, and then rub it all over with seasoned butter. After that, we’ll roast it until crispy and juicy in a cast-iron skillet. So delicious!
Making Spatchcock Chicken without Veggies
- Prep the Oven and Make the Seasoned Butter. Preheat your oven to 425˚F. In a small bowl, mix together the softened butter, minced garlic, lemon zest, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper. I like to use a fork for this.
- Remove the Backbone of the Chicken. Place your chicken breast-side-down on a cutting board (make sure to use a cutting board meant for raw meat, rather than your veggie cutting board). Using sharp kitchen shears, cut out the backbone of the chicken, cutting right through the ribs along each side. Cut out the backbone all the way up each side and through the neck cavity.
- Lay the Chicken Out Flat. With the backbone removed, turn the chicken over and press down firmly in the center of the breasts to flatten it. Some of the small bones will crack.
- Butter the Chicken. Using your fingers, carefully pull the skin away from the meat. Don’t pull it completely off; just pull it up so that you can spread butter on the meat and then replace the skin. Spread half of the butter mixture under the skin and onto the meat. Smooth the skin back into place. Then rub the rest of the butter mixture across the top of the skin, and all over the legs, thighs, and wings.
- Roast. Place the chicken in a large cast iron skillet, turning the legs inward and tucking the wing tips behind the chicken. You can also snip the wing tips off. (If you don’t have a large enough cast-iron skillet, use a baking dish or sheet pan instead.) Roast the chicken for 45 to 55 minutes, or until done.
Making Spatchcock Chicken with Vegetables
- Prep the Oven and Chicken, and Begin Roasting. Follow the recipe as written, preheating the oven, spatchcocking the chicken, and seasoning it with the butter mixture. However, instead of placing it in a cast iron skillet, place it on a baking sheet, and begin roasting. Set a timer for 25 minutes.
- Prepare the Veggies. Wash and cut the radishes and brussels sprouts. Pat dry with paper towels, and then toss with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
- Add the Vegetables to the Sheet Pan and Finish Roasting. When the 25 minutes is up, pull the baking sheet out of the oven, and arrange the veggies all around the chicken. Cooking them in a single layer is best. Return the pan to the oven, and roast everything for 20 to 25 more minutes, or until the chicken is done. Give the veggies a stir couple of times during the cooking process to ensure even roasting.
- Finish the Dish. When the chicken is done and the vegetables are tender, remove the pan from the oven, place the chicken on a clean cutting board or platter, and allow it to rest for ten minutes. Carve the chicken or cut it into serving pieces, and serve with veggies.
Tips for Success
When making a spatchcock chicken, keep the following tips in mind for a successful result. Bon appetit!
- Waste Not, Want Not: You can reserve the backbone and wing tips to make broth later. Just place them in a freezer bag, press out as much air as you can, seal, and freeze. Use them within 3 to 6 months. (If the chicken was already frozen for its maximum freezer storage life before making this recipe, do not refreeze the chicken).
- Customize the Seasonings: This chicken is also wonderful slathered with barbecue sauce, spiked with ginger and sweet chili sauce, or just about any other flavorings you can think of! 😋
- Handle with Care: Keep in mind that lifting out the heavy chicken safely means having oven mitts on both hands! Keep kiddos safely out of the way, and if you’re using a baking sheet, use a sturdy one that won’t bend or warp as you lift it.
To serve this dish, I like to make one or more healthy sides that go well with roasted radishes and brussels sprouts. Here are some easy, healthy faves!
- Shopska: Creamy, tangy, crisp, crunchy…. Traditional Macedonian Shopska has it all! This refreshing chopped salad is my go-to for a side that’s bursting with flavor and nutrition.
- Biscuits: My friends in the South are all about chicken and biscuits, and I am here for it! These easy Garlic and Cheddar Drop Biscuits take away the hassle of rolling and cutting, and they’re light and fluffy.
- Mashed Potatoes: I always look forward to making mashed potatoes because certain people in my family get so excited! They feel about potatoes the way I feel about chocolate! Although, to be honest, I can see why—these Slow Cooker Country Style Garlic Mashed Potatoes, especially, are super yum.
How to Store and Reheat Roast Chicken Leftovers
- To store, I recommend taking the chicken off of the bones and placing in airtight storage containers or bags. Leftover roasted chicken is great for all kinds of things!
- Store in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
- To reheat, just place the deboned chicken in a covered skillet on low heat, until heated through.
Roasted Spatchcock Chicken
- 1 (3.5 to 4 pounds) whole chicken
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- ½ tablespoon onion powder
- ½ tablespoon dried oregano
- ½ tablespoon dried thyme
- ½ tablespoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 pound whole radishes, cut in half
- 1 pound brussel sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425˚F.
- In a smaller mixing bowl combine softened butter, minced garlic, lemon zest, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper; mix and mash with a fork until thoroughly combined and set aside.
- On a cutting board turn chicken breast-side down.
- Using sharp kitchen shears, cut out the backbone of the chicken.
- Once the backbone is removed, turn over the chicken and, using the heels of your hand, press down forcefully to flatten it.
- Next, using your fingers, carefully pull the skin away from the meat and spread half of the butter mixture under the skin and onto the meat.
- Rub the rest of the butter mixture on top of the skin and all over the chicken.
- Place the chicken in a large cast iron skillet; turn legs inward and tuck the wing tips under the chicken.
- Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, or until internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken registers at 165˚F. Use an instant read meat thermometer to check for doneness.
- Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
- Follow the recipe as written to preheat the oven, spatchcock the chicken, and season it with the butter mixture. Then put the chicken on a baking sheet, tuck in the wings and turn legs inward, and roast for 25 minutes.
- In the meantime, toss the veggies with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
- When the 25 minutes is up, pull the baking sheet out of the oven and arrange the veggies around the chicken.
- Continue to roast for 20 to 25 more minutes, or until chicken is done. Give the veggies a stir couple of times during the cooking process.
- Remove from oven.
- Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes.
- Cut and serve with the vegetables.
- NET CARBS: 7 g
- WW POINTS: Points include both, the chicken and vegetables, plus butter and olive oil. To drastically reduce your points, discard the skin. To further reduce your points, only eat the chicken breast.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.