Roasted spatchcock chicken recipe

(439 ratings)

Roasted spatchcock chicken is quicker and easier than your usual roast bird. It's ideal for cooking on the BBQ...

Roasted spatchcock chicken
(Image credit: TI Media Limited)
  • healthy
Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time55 mins
Total Time1 hours 15 mins plus resting
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories245 Kcal12%
Fat10.5 g15%
Saturated Fat4 g20%

Learn how to make this roast spatchcock chicken in just a few simple steps. Shake up your usual Sunday dinner with this tasty recipe.

Never made spatchcock chicken before? Spatchcocked means removing the chicken's backbone and pressing the bird flat so 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 test your own butchery skills. The great thing about spatchcocked chicken is that it cooks quickly but stays juicy, taking about half the time it would roast a whole chicken. Serve it with a pile of potatoes and your favourite veggies for a delicious dinnertime treat. 


  • 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




  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 tips for making roasted spatchcock chicken

Spatchcock chicken is exactly the same as butterflying chicken it simply means cutting out the chicken backbone and pressing the bird flat.  This spatchcocked chicken will go perfectly with our perfect roast potatoes (opens in new tab).

Do you flip spatchcock chicken when cooking?

You don't need to flip spatchcock chicken when cooking. You can flip it when moving out of the oven and onto a board but it doesn't need to be flipped during cooking. 

What is the point of spatchcock chicken?

Cooking chicken using the spatchcock method means that the chicken cooks more evenly. Having the chicken all at the same level means that the breast and thigh cooks at the same time. The chicken also cooks much faster when butterflied.

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Jessica Dady
Senior Content Editor

Jessica Dady is Senior Content Editor at and has over 10 years of experience as a digital journalist, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the best food hampers to cookbooks, from the best cake stands to baking sets, Jessica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to must-have food products. A passionate baker, she spends much of her time creating celebration cakes for friends and family - particularly for her two lucky children.