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  • 1 spatchcocked chicken (mine was a little over 5 lbs.)
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt/pepper
  • fresh thyme sprigs
  • fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 1/2 C white wine
  • 2 bulbs garlic, tops cut off
  • 1 brick wrapped in foil (optional)

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Spatchcock Chicken. Sound daunting and difficult? Nope. It’s not at all, and it will honestly be one of the best chickens you have ever tasted. Super juicy, and tender. Why? Because once the chicken is butterflied (flattened), it cooks so evenly! Using this technique for your poultry will make it much easier to roast or grill.

Below, I will show you the technique on how to spatchcock, or flatten and also a recipe for how I roasted it in the oven perfectly. I also include a how-to for the grill. Also, check out below how I created an African dish by using an African seasoning blend paired with Jollof rice. So, go grab yourself a nice whole chicken and a pair of kitchen shears…let’s get spatchcocking!

a spatchcock chicken

Spatchcocking Technique

Rinse your chicken and pat dry. Lay the chicken on on a flat surface…breast down. I put mine on a non-slip mat. Take your kitchen shears and start cutting along one side of the backbone. You need a pair of these in your kitchen…click here to grab a pair!

Continue cutting the backbone on the other side.

Turn the chicken around and start cutting the backbone out from the other end. Remove.

Flip chicken and press on the breastbone to flatten.

That’s it. You now have a spatchcock chicken. After you clean up the surface thoroughly, let’s move on to the recipe. See tips beyond this recipe for how you can also grill your spatchcocked chicken.

Heat oven to 420 degrees. Line the bottom of a roasting pan with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the chicken on both sides by rubbing it with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the chicken in the roasting pan breast side up. Add the thyme, rosemary, lemons, garlic bulbs and wine to the pan. You could also add potatoes or other root vegetables if you are making this as a one-pan meal.

a spatchcock chicken in a roasting pan

Roast at 420 degrees for about 15 minutes. Since my chicken was so big and had big breasts, I used a foil-lined brick to weigh down the breast area for about half of the roasting process. You probably do not have to do this for a smaller bird. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue roasting until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees. It took about 1 hour, 15 minutes for mine. Measure the internal temperature at the meatiest part. For a spatchcock chicken, take temperature at breast.

Once temperature has been reached, and to get that super crispy skin, take a few pats of butter and rub on the top of the bird. Turn the oven to broil and allow the skin to brown. Keep a watchful eye…this should only take a few minutes…you do NOT want the skin to burn!


Grilling a spatchcock chicken is super delicious. Rub the chicken with the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme leaves, rosemary and lemon wedges. Place on grill, breast bone up. I always place a brick on the chicken when I grill. Allow to grill until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

I do roast the garlic and more lemon separately on the grill. You can do this about 20 minutes before the chicken is finished grilling.


Blend two tablespoons of “Sassy Lady” African spice blend (click here) with a stick of melted butter. Rub all over the skin of the chicken. Place the spatchcock chicken in cast iron or roasting pan. Roast at 420 degrees until the internal temperature hits 165 degrees. Serve up with Jollof Rice and ENJOY!

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