Spatchcock Chicken – Quick & Simple!

Spatchcock Chicken (sometimes called butterflied chicken) is an easy way to make a whole roast chicken in no time at all!

It comes out uniformly cooked, tender and juicy on the inside and crisp on the outside.

close up of Spatchcock Chicken in frying pan with potatoes

Why We Love It

This Spatchcock Chicken recipe makes roasting a whole chicken a breeze and reduces cook time!

The chicken will roast evenly turns out incredibly juicy.

Spatchcock Chicken is so versatile! It can be marinated, rubbed with seasonings, or just sprinkled with salt & pepper depending on your preference! Add your favorite veggies to the pan for a complete meal.

What is Spatchcock Chicken?

By removing the backbone, the chicken can be turned over and laid flat (or butterflied). This helps it to cook evenly and reduces cook time. (It works well with turkey too, I make a 10lb spatchcock turkey in just over an hour).

Add veggies like carrots, potatoes, or onions and a handful of fresh herbs and then let everything roast together! It’s the best one-pan entrée!

process of cutting chicken for Spatchcock Chicken

How to Spatchcock a Chicken

It might seem complicated but it’s a super easy trick every cook should have up their sleeve.

  1. Remove neck and giblets from cavity of a whole chicken.
  2. Cut out backbone with a pair of poultry shears or a good pair of kitchen scissors (save bones, giblets, and neck for stock or broth or gravy).
  3. Turn bird over and gently press on breast bone until it cracks and chicken is flattened.
  4. Fold wings under bird and place on a rimmed baking sheet.

Process of prepping Spatchcock Chicken


CHICKEN This recipe calls for a 4lb bird with the giblet and neck removed. If your chicken is a little bigger or smaller, adjust the cooking time slightly!

VEGGIES I only added potatoes to this recipe, but any and all veggies will taste great! Carrots, celery, green beans, or turnips can all be used!

SEASONING The chicken is rubbed with olive oil and chicken seasoning before being roasted. Feel free to mix up the spices to your liking, or add some heat!

uncooked Spatchcock Chicken with potatoes on a baking sheet

How Long to Cook a Spatchcock Chicken

Spatchcocking a chicken is the best way to ensure that it will cook evenly, so roast for about 45 to 50 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 165°F.

Measure at the thickest part, away from any bones.Spatchcock Chicken on a white platter with potatoes

Tips for Making Spatchcock Chicken

  • Once the chicken is spatchcocked, it can be coated with a marinade for up to two hours before roasting. It can also be rubbed with a seasoning mix on the inside and outside of the meat.
  • This will help tender the meat and add a rich, savory flavor to it. Don’t forget to make gravy to pour over the chicken or side dishes. Keeping the skin on will protect the meat with a layer of fat while it’s roasting.
  • Spatchcock chicken can also be shredded and added to sandwiches, wraps, and salads for other meals!
  • For freezing, remove the meat from the bone and freeze in dated zippered bags.

Perfect Sides for Chicken

Did you try this Spatchcock Chicken? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

close up of Spatchcock Chicken in frying pan with potatoes

Spatchcock Chicken

Spatchcock Chicken is so easy to make, and turns out juicy and tender!
Course Chicken, Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 762
Author Holly Nilsson


  • 1 whole chicken about 4 lbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chicken seasoning or rub
  • salt and pepper

Vegetables (optional)

  • 2 ½ pounds chopped red or yellow potatoes or baby potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss potatoes with olive oil and seasonings.
  • Remove neck and giblets from the cavity if they are included.
  • Place chicken on a sturdy surface, breast side down so the backbone is facing up. Using poultry shears, cut along each side of the back bone to remove it completely (reserve the bone for broth or gravy if desired).
  • Flip the chicken over so the breast side is up. Using your palms, press on the breast bone to flatten it. You should hear it crack as it flattens. Fold the wing tips under the chicken.
  • Arrange on a large rimmed baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with seasoning. Arrange vegetables around the pan if using.
  • Roast the chicken for 45-50 minutes or until it reaches 165°F.
  • Remove from the oven and loosely tent with foil. Rest at least 15 minutes before carving.


Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

Cooked chicken can be frozen in a ziptop bag for up to 3 months. 


Calories: 762 | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 152mg | Potassium: 1574mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 346IU | Vitamin C: 59mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 5mg
close up of Spatchcock Chicken in baking sheet with writing and another image of the top view plated with potatoes
Spatchcock Chicken on a white platter with writing
close up of Spatchcock Chicken with a title
Spatchcock Chicken with garnish and potatoes on a white platter with a writing

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