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There is one trick you need to know in order to make the best whole roasted chicken, that cooks evenly and in the shortest amount of time possible: how to spatchcock a chicken! It may seem intimidating, but it couldn’t be simpler to spatchcock chicken. Once you learn this trick, you’ll never roast a chicken any other way! Made in partnership with my friends at Farmer Focus.
How to Spatchcock a Chicken
We are all about roasted chicken here. Previously we’ve Roasted a Whole Chicken Dinner, and even made a “roasted” Slow-Cooker Chicken. But we must confess: we’ll probably always and forever from here on out choose to spatchcock a chicken before roasting it. I know it seems like it’s tricky, because it seems intimidating to butterfly any piece of meat, but rest assured it’s so simple! We have step-by-step photos and a video to walk you through. We know you can do it! But lets get a few things out of the way first…
What is a Spatchcock Chicken?
A spatchcock chicken, also known as a chicken that has been butterflied, is a chicken that has been split open by removing the backbone. It then lays flat while it is cooked.
But Why is a Spatchcock Chicken the Best Way to Roast?
First off, because the chicken is laying flat, it cooks evenly. You no longer have to worry about the breasts being done before the chicken thighs are, and having the chicken dry out. Both the dark meat and the light meat cook in just about the same amount of time.
In addition, there is more surface area since the chicken is flat, and more surface area means more crispy skin. Nobody was ever mad about that!
And finally, a chicken that has been spatchcocked requires about 10-15 minutes less to fully cook through! While that might not seem like a lot of time, it really makes cooking a chicken on a weeknight much more attainable than a whole roasted chicken that hasn’t been butterflied open!
Why We’ve Been Buying Farmer Focus Chicken for Years
Chicken is of course the star of this dish, so it is incredibly important to use the best quality! I am so happy to partner with my friends at Farmer Focus to teach you this technique to change the way you roast a chicken!. Farmer Focus has been my go-to, trusted chicken for years because they pride themselves in producing the highest quality meat grown on family-owned farms. You can 100% taste the difference. I love knowing that, without a doubt, when I pick up Farmer Focus chicken at the grocery store, it’s the best there is and I don’t have to question whether it was raised in a humane way.
Farmer Focus is building partnerships with farmers through their innovative Farmer Focus Business Model
What I love about Farmer Focus is that they are a company that promotes and protects generational family farming. They partner with over 60 family farms, that are all dedicated to bringing organic, humanely raised and traceable chicken to your table.
Every Farmer Focus product includes a 4-letter Farm ID that traces your chicken to the farm that raised it, so you can learn more about where your chicken comes from. I love that accountability! On their website you can see where all of the farms are located, so you know just where your chicken was raised!
Farmer Focus chickens are humanely raised and fed a diet free from animal byproducts, pesticides, and antibiotics.
You can also use their easy store locator to find where you can get this amazing quality chicken near you.
Steps to Spatchcock a Chicken
We promise it will take just about 5 minutes, or less, to butcher the chicken in this manner. It’s really simple. The bare minimum you need to do it is a good pair of kitchen shears and a steady work surface.
Remove the packaging and the giblets from the chicken. Set aside for another use or discard. Drain any excess liquid and dry off the chicken really well. Place on a steady work surface. We like using a sheet pan to catch any drippings.
Using the kitchen shears, cut along one side of the backbone. It does not matter if you start by the legs or the wings.
Using the same technique, cut along the other side, and remove the backbone.
Flip the bird over, and cut off the tips of the wings. Freeze for use later in Chicken Stock.
Using the palm of your hand, press firmly on the breastbone until you hear a small crack. This will allow the chicken to flatten.
Season the chicken and roast!
How to Make it a Meal
We have to admit, we love a one-pan meal! We’ve chosen to simply roast this chicken up with our house blend of chicken seasoning (which includes salt, pepper, paprika, garlic granules and dried thyme) and a touch of olive oil. The chicken is roasted directly on top of some onions, garlic and potatoes.
We served the roasted chicken and potatoes along with a big side salad for a hearty and balanced dinner.
The good news is that you can just about roast anything alongside the chicken to make it a meal.
Check out this Guide for Roasting Vegetables, as it’s helpful when deciding if a vegetable will work. The main thing to consider is will the vegetable be cooked properly in the amount of time it takes to roast the chicken (which is about 45-55 minutes). If a vegetable will be overcooked in that time frame, you can roast it separately or add it to the roasting pan halfway through the chicken cooking time.
Here are some vegetables that we think will roast perfectly well alongside the chicken and potatoes:
- brussels sprouts
- winter squash such as butternut or spaghetti
- root vegetables
Watch the video here:
If you like this chicken recipe, check out these others:
- How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts in the Instant Pot
- 5 Chicken Marinades (Freezer-Friendly)
- Sun-Dried Tomato and Artichoke Stuffed Chicken
- The Best Baked BBQ Chicken Breast
How to Spatchcock a Chicken
- 1- 4 lb Farmer Focus Whole Chicken
- 1 onion sliced
- 16 ounces baby potatoes scrubbed and dried
- 6 whole cloves garlic peeled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1-1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Fresh thyme leaves for garnish
- 2 tablespoons finely sliced parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- Remove the packaging and the giblets from the chicken. Set aside for another use or discard. Drain any excess liquid and dry off the chicken really well. Place the chicken on a steady work surface. We like using a sheet pan to catch any drippings.
- Using the kitchen shears, cut along one side of the backbone. It does not matter if you start by the legs or the wings.
- Using the same technique, cut along the other side, and remove the backbone. Freeze for use later, if desired.
- Flip the bird over, and cut off the tips of the wings. Freeze for use later, if desired.
- Using the palm of your hand, press firmly on the breastbone until you hear a small crack. This will allow the chicken to flatten.
- Add onion, potatoes, garlic and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large roasting pan and toss together to coat. Spread evenly in the pan.
- Place the chicken in the middle on top of the potatoes.
- Add the spices in a small bowl and mix together.
- Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken (including the underside). Make sure the chicken is skin side up, and drizzle the remaining olive oil on top of the chicken.
- Roast in the middle of the oven for 45-55 minutes, or until the thickest part of the chicken breast reaches 160ºF.
- Let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Cut up the chicken and serve with a garnish of fresh thyme and parsley.
This post is sponsored by Farmer Focus. All thoughts and opinions are always 100% my own! I love the integrity of their products and think you’ll love them too. Thank you for continuing to support LCK and the brands I work with!