To spatchcock a chicken simply means that the whole chicken's backbone is cut out and then the bird is pressed flat so that it cooks in a single layer. A spatchcock chicken cooks more evenly because all of the parts are on a flat surface, so the breast and thigh meat are done at the same time. A whole chicken also cooks faster when spatchcocked because there is maximum exposure to heat, which results in more crispy, golden brown skin.
We also add flavor to this chicken by rubbing some flavored butter until and over the skin before baking. Our recipe is for a simple garlic flavored butter but you could also add some lemon or orange zest or your own favorite blend of herbs. You can also place on some vegetables around the chicken to make a complete sheet pan dinner.
How to Spatchcock a Chicken: Place the chicken on a cutting board breast-side down with the backbone/spine facing towards you. Use kitchen shears to cut through the ribs right next to the spine on both sides to remove spine. Discard the spine or save it to make stock. Open the rib cage and use a boning or chef's knife to score down the sternum (the bone between the two breasts). This will help to flatten the chicken. Season the underside of the chicken with salt and pepper.
Flip the chicken over with the breast side up and place on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Using the palm of your hand, push firmly over the breast bone so the chicken lays completely flat. You want it to lay flat so all parts of the chicken bake evenly. Slide you hand under the skin to separate the skin from the meat over breast, thigh and drumstick areas.
Directions: In a small bowl, combine the flavored butter ingredients and mash together with a fork for a couple of minutes until well combined.
Spread 1/2 of it under the chicken skin and spread the remaining butter all over the surface of the chicken.
If you are adding vegetables, place them all around the chicken then drizzle all over with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and some black pepper to taste. Quartered potatoes, carrots and halved Brussels sprouts work well because they require about the same roasting time as the chicken. If you wish to add other vegetables, such as asparagus or green beans, that require less roasting time, add them to the sheet pan later.
Bake uncovered at 425˚F for 35 to 45 minutes or until instant read thermometer registers 150˚F to 155⁰ F when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken breast. Keep in mind that the temperature will rise another 5-10 degrees after it comes out of the oven. Remove from the oven and allow to rest uncovered 10 minutes before serving.