The name might be funny, but the results are awesome. Spatchcock chicken cooks faster than roasting a whole chicken. The bird cooks quickly and evenly, with more skin exposed to get crisp in the oven. If you're uncomfortable cutting the chicken and removing the backbone yourself, ask your butcher for help. Roasted fingerling potatoes round out this easy, one sheet-pan dinner.

Source:, October 2017


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

25 mins
1 hr 20 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

  • Toss potatoes in a large bowl with oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

  • Combine lemon zest, garlic, chopped thyme, chopped rosemary and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.

  • Trim any excess skin and fat from the chicken. Using kitchen shears, cut the chicken down one side of the backbone, through the ribs. Make an identical cut on the opposite side to remove the backbone completely; discard. Place the chicken cut-side down and flatten with the heel of your hand. Splay the thighs outward and tuck the wings under. Rub the garlic-herb mixture under the skin onto the breast and leg meat.

  • Place the lemon slices in the center of a large rimmed baking sheet. Top with the thyme and rosemary sprigs. Place the chicken on top of the herbs and lemon. Scatter the potatoes around the chicken.

  • Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a chicken thigh registers 165 degrees F, 45 minutes to 1 hour.


To make ahead: Spatchcock the chicken (remove the backbone and flatten the chicken) and rub with the herb blend (Steps 3 & 4); refrigerate for up to 1 day. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting.

Equipment: Sturdy kitchen shears or poultry shears

Nutrition Facts

3 1/2 ounces chicken & 1/2 cup potatoes
503 calories; protein 37.1g; carbohydrates 19.4g; dietary fiber 2.4g; sugars 1.7g; fat 30.1g; saturated fat 8.4g; cholesterol 140.3mg; vitamin a iu 305.5IU; vitamin c 16.9mg; folate 32.5mcg; calcium 40.9mg; iron 2.7mg; magnesium 64.1mg; potassium 892.3mg; sodium 442.5mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

5 medium-fat protein, 1 fat, 1 starch