Spatchcocked Chicken (Butterflied)

Prep Time
Cook Time
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"Funny name for a delicious dish that simply means a butterflied chicken. The name derives from the 1700’s and probably comes from “dispatch the cock.” Regardless of the origin or name, the chicken cooks evenly and produces a moist and tender bird that can be cooked in the oven or on the grill with a variety of seasonings. The basic lemon, salt, and pepper listed here are only a simple starting place, and this is intended to explain the method more than add flavors. Use any favorite flavors to make it your own. ."

Original recipe yields 5 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (457.2 g)
  • Calories 430.5
  • Total Fat - 9.5 g
  • Saturated Fat - 2.4 g
  • Cholesterol - 1088.6 mg
  • Sodium - 1185.7 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 0.7 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 0.2 g
  • Sugars - 0 g
  • Protein - 80.4 g
  • Calcium - 61.4 mg
  • Iron - 11.6 mg
  • Vitamin C - 17.6 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.1 mg

Step 1

To prepare the chicken, remove any parts tucked inside, rinse it thoroughly, and pat dry.

Step 2

Place the chicken breast side down and cut along each side of the backbone, removing it completely. A sturdy pair of kitchen shears will do this nicely. Set backbone aside for another day’s stock or discard.

Step 3

Open the chicken out flat and turn it over.

Step 4

With the breast up, press firmly on the center to flatten the breast bone.

Step 5

Season both sides with lemon juice, salt and pepper, and your choice of seasonings. Drizzle with olive oil.

Step 6

Let it rest for 10 minutes to an hour to bring the chicken to room temperature. If you are preparing/seasoning the chicken ahead of time, refrigerate it and bring it back to room temperature before cooking.

Step 7

To bake: Place the butterflied chicken breast side up in a rimmed pan and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 50-60 minutes, to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Let it stand for 10 minutes before cutting to serve.

Step 8

To grill: Brown the chicken breast side down for 10-15 minutes over direct medium heat. Turn and finish cooking over indirect heat for 25-30 minutes to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting to serve.

Step 9

Enjoy the smiles and compliments around your table.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.


Chef shapeweaver

On 3/26/13 I was looking for a new way to prepare chicken,and came across this recipe.I followed the method for preparing but used Cajun Spice Mix #5279 by Bergy for the seasoning.After coating both sides of the chicken with oil and seasoning,it was baked at 350 degrees. And since it weighed about 4 lbs., it was baked for an hour and 15 minutes. Both my SO and I thought it was a very good way to bake chicken. Thank you for posting and, " Keep Smiling :) "

review by:
(27 Mar 2013)


This has been one of my favourite methods for whole chicken. We all love the wonderful flavourful crisped all over chicken and it's so easy to do. When it comes to presentation some legs are easier to arrange than others but matters not the taste is terrific! Being storm warnings I baked mine in the oven. Used four pepper, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic salt, rosemary and baked about an hour. The aroma alone makes for a five - as does the presentation. Thank you for another of your recipes that has gone into our Family Cookbook.

review by:
(25 Jul 2012)


Oh my lord this was one of the best chicken recipes, I grilled two chickens and not a spec of chicken was left only bones, I seasoned the chickens with a ton of garlic powder and used Herbs de Provence, after I seasoned with everything I left the chicken in the fridge for 3 hours before grilling, I love the idea of splitting the chicken I think it cooks better and more evenly we loved tha lemon flavor it really took the chicken up to another level, as soon as I saw this recipe I saved it to make and now will move to my favorites, thanks for such a wonderful recipe and making my family very happy at dinnertime!

review by:
(17 Jul 2012)


OH boy I can't wait to try this chicken, thank you for posting the recipe! UPDATE:  okay I made this recipe and it was AWESOME! I loaded it with garlic powder and used rosemary, left it in the fridge overnight and as BettyBoop we also grilled it, try this recipe please it's AMAZING!

review by:
(11 Jul 2012)