Learn how to make this roast spatchcock chicken in just a few simple steps.
Never made spatchcock chicken before? Spatchcocked simply means removing the chicken’s backbone and pressing the bird flat so that it cooks in a single layer. You can buy spatchcocked chicken in most supermarkets, ask your local butcher to do it for you, or even put your own butchery skills to the test. The great thing about spatchcocked chicken is that it cooks quickly but stays juicy, taking about half the time it would to roast a whole chicken. Serve it with a pile of potatoes and your favourite veggies for a delicious dinnertime treat. Shake up your usual Sunday dinner with this tasty roasted spatchcock chicken recipe.
- 1kg whole chicken, spatchcocked
- 1 lemon, halved lengthways and sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled, squashed
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1-2tbsp olive oil
- About 15g soft butter
Set the oven to 240°C/475°F/Gas Mark 9. Put the chicken in a roasting tin with the backbone (it adds flavour), the lemon slices, cloves of garlic and thyme sprigs, then drizzle with the oil, season well with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper and dot butter over the bird.
Put the chicken in the oven then turn the heat down to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Roast for 40-45 mins, basting a couple of times, until it’s golden. Push a skewer in the leg; if the juices run clear, it’s cooked, if they’re still pink, cook for another 5-10 minutes.
Transfer the chicken, garlic, lemon slices and thyme to a board, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for 10 mins before carving. Discard the backbone. Serve the cooking juices as they are, or make gravy, heating them in a pan (skimming off the fat if you prefer), adding a splash of white wine and 200ml chicken stock. Thicken with cornflour, if you like. Serve with roast or new potatoes and greens.
Top tip for making roasted spatchcock chicken
If you are going to try and spatchcock the chicken yourself – ie. remove its backbone – we recommend watching a video on YouTube that can talk you through the technique. Here is one that's simple to follow.
Spatchcocked chicken will go perfectly with our perfect roast potatoes.