Spatchcocking makes for a bird with super crisp skin and moist meat, in about half the time it takes to roast a whole bird.

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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.

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  • Place chicken, breast side down, on a work surface. Starting at the tail end, cut along both sides of backbone with kitchen shears. Remove backbone. Grabbing hold of both sides of the chicken, open it like a book. Turn breast side up. Push down on each side of breast with your hands until you hear it crack. Flatten chicken and transfer to one short end of the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the second chicken.

  • Combine salt, tarragon, paprika, and pepper in a small bowl. Stir in oil. Run your fingers under chicken skin and rub tarragon paste under skin. Slide lemon slices under skin, in a single layer.

  • Roast until skin is crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast reads 165 degrees F, about 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting each chicken into 8 pieces.

Partner Tip

Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

545 calories; 32.1 g total fat; 239 mg cholesterol; 758 mg sodium. 0.4 g carbohydrates; 59.9 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (34)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
05/18/2016
Delicious! I didn't have tarragon so I used thyme instead. Baking time was off though. Mine took over an hour to get the breast meat to 165 degrees (they were pretty thick breasts). I added some potatoes zucchini carrots and onions around the bird that roasted up nicely and went well with the chicken. Will make again! Read More
(14)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
06/17/2017
I had a couple of issues with this recipe. First I am still really surprised that my smoke alarm didn't go off. Having my oven at such a high temperature created tons of thick eye-watering cough-inducing smoke. Second I found it way too salty. Maybe cut the salt down to half - or even lower. I'm real sensitive to salt and this I really felt was way too much. Lastly I found the chicken (especially the breasts) to be dry. Yeah the skin was great...lovely and crisp but again way too salty. I have a method of roasting a chicken done standing up in a 400 degree oven for one hour and it comes out tender juicy and best of all...NO SMOKE!! Read More
(8)
41 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 30
  • 4 star values: 6
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
05/18/2016
Delicious! I didn't have tarragon so I used thyme instead. Baking time was off though. Mine took over an hour to get the breast meat to 165 degrees (they were pretty thick breasts). I added some potatoes zucchini carrots and onions around the bird that roasted up nicely and went well with the chicken. Will make again! Read More
(14)
Rating: 4 stars
05/18/2016
Delicious! I didn't have tarragon so I used thyme instead. Baking time was off though. Mine took over an hour to get the breast meat to 165 degrees (they were pretty thick breasts). I added some potatoes zucchini carrots and onions around the bird that roasted up nicely and went well with the chicken. Will make again! Read More
(14)
Rating: 5 stars
10/05/2016
I made this according to the directions except my bird was about 5 pounds so I cooked it at 425 for about an hour. I also used the rub to coat some steak fries before using it on the chicken and I cooked those in a separate pan alongside for about 40 minutes. The skin was crisp and the meat was moist. Thanks for a great recipe. Read More
(11)
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Rating: 5 stars
08/29/2016
This is the only way that we now bake chicken in the house. I had to use other spices that I had on hand but the whole family just loves it. I cook mine at 350 for 1.5 hours. We like crispy skin and the meat is still very moist. Read More
(11)
Rating: 2 stars
06/17/2017
I had a couple of issues with this recipe. First I am still really surprised that my smoke alarm didn't go off. Having my oven at such a high temperature created tons of thick eye-watering cough-inducing smoke. Second I found it way too salty. Maybe cut the salt down to half - or even lower. I'm real sensitive to salt and this I really felt was way too much. Lastly I found the chicken (especially the breasts) to be dry. Yeah the skin was great...lovely and crisp but again way too salty. I have a method of roasting a chicken done standing up in a 400 degree oven for one hour and it comes out tender juicy and best of all...NO SMOKE!! Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
07/07/2017
If you use one chicken instead of the two that the recipe calls for be careful of the salt amount. Also ask your butcher to split and flatten your chicken for you. I like a hint of lemon so I just used the juice of one lemon on my one chicken. I will definitely make again. Thank You for your recipe Read More
(4)
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Rating: 5 stars
05/20/2016
I tried this recipe when I saw it in the April/May issue of Allrecipes Magazine. It did not disappoint! The chicken was so juicy and the lemon was like candy underneath the chicken skin. We were fighting over it. I have have made it several times. The hardest part is getting the chicken cut up in he beginning. I got some new kitchen shears so hopefully when I make it tonight it will be easier. Cooking time is adjusted if I am using bigger chickens. Yummy! Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
08/13/2017
Delicious Juicy & Tender Chicken! I tweaked spices to my personal preference then followed recipe after that minus the lemon slices. I instead used a fusion of balsamic vinegar and Meyer lemon juice. I also used convection oven setting set at 425 F for about 45-50 minutes for a 6.25 lb spatchcock chicken. Chicken was perfect at 160 F w/nice crispy skin (which I always remove for myself). Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
01/07/2017
I've been doing out Thanksgiving turkey like this for years. Comes out nice and moist. I do brine it for at least 12 hrs. Read More
(3)
Rating: 4 stars
05/09/2016
This came out amazing. I used this respond when I wanted to try something different with my whole chicken. It came out flavorful and very juicy. Read More
(3)