Removing the backbone from a whole chicken and flattening it—aka spatchcocking—helps it to roast in about half the time. Serve with grilled seasonal vegetables.

EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2021


Credit: Blaine Moats

Recipe Summary

15 mins
1 hr 20 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 475°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top; coat with cooking spray.

  • Thoroughly pat chicken dry with paper towels. Place breast-side down on a cutting board. Using kitchen shears, make a long cut along both sides of the backbone and remove it. Flip the chicken over. Using the heels of both hands, firmly press down on each breast to flatten the chicken as much as possible.

  • Loosen the skin over the breast and thigh meat and season under it with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt over the skin. Transfer the chicken to the prepared rack, breast-side up.

  • Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast registers 155°F, 45 to 55 minutes.

  • Whisk maple syrup, chile powder, tamarind (or lime juice) and garlic powder in a small bowl. Brush the chicken with the mixture. Continue roasting until the chicken reaches 165° and the glaze sets, about 5 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes before carving.


The go-to souring agent in Filipino cooking is tamarind. This tropical tree produces a sour-sweet fruit in a brown pod, with edible pulp. It's often sold in concentrate or pulp form. You can make your own "concentrate" by mixing 1/4 cup pulp and 1 cup hot water in a medium bowl. Let stand for 20 minutes. Break up the paste and mix it with the water with a fork. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve set over a bowl, pressing against the solids and scraping the underside of it to collect as much of the pulp as possible. Discard solids.

Nutrition Facts

4 oz. chicken
366 calories; fat 20g; cholesterol 127mg; sodium 423mg; carbohydrates 5g; protein 39g; sugars 4g; niacin equivalents 12mg; saturated fat 5g; vitamin a iu 365IU; potassium 347mg.