Jun 19, 2016

Lemon and Garlic Spatchcocked Chicken

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
This method of cooking chicken entails removing the backbone and flattening the chicken.

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I love roasting a whole chicken when entertaining. Guests can choose their favorite cut of meat and there are plenty of options for using the leftover chicken meat.

The best tip I’ve gotten for nice crispy chicken skin is to rub butter under the skin. It makes all the difference! My favorite part of roasting chicken is sneaking some of the crispy skin after its done.

Lemon and Garlic Spatchcocked Chicken

Why Spatchcock a Chicken

This method of cooking chicken entails removing the backbone and flattening the chicken. This exposes more skin to crisp up in the oven while also cooking the chicken more evenly and quickly.

In my opinion the chicken is also easier to break down once it has been spatchcocked. You can easily separate the rest of the parts of the chicken for serving, just be sure you have kitchen shears to remove the back.

Spatchcocked Roast Chicken Lemon and Garlic-3.jpg

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Chicken – This recipe calls for a whole fryer chicken. This means the chicken is between 7 to 10 weeks old and between 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 pounds. If you are serving more people I recommend using a roaster chicken which is slightly larger. Add additional cooking time as needed just cook until the internal temperature is 165ºF.
  • Butter – The butter is slid between the skin and the meat so as it melts it keeps the meat of the chicken moist and the skin crispy.
  • Lemon – Lemons are sliced and arranged as the base of the chicken. As the chicken roasts the lemon is infused into the chicken.
  • Garlic – I chop the garlic and rub it all over the chicken. Garlic powder can also be used in place of fresh garlic in this recipe. I always use fresh cloves of garlic, the pre-minced jars of garlic don’t taste the same. It loses a lot of the powerful garlic flavor when it’s jarred. This is because it has been soaked in water for a long period of time. Peeling garlic only takes a bit. As the garlic is sautéed the flavor mellows so it’s not very pungent but adds a base flavor.
  • Seasoning – The chicken is seasoned simply with salt and pepper so the flavor of the lemon and garlic can shine.

How to Make a Spatchcocked Chicken

  1. Heat oven. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  2. Remove the backbone from the chicken. Place the chicken breast-side down on a clean workspace with the legs facing towards you. Starting at the thigh, cut along one side of the backbone with kitchen shears.
  3. Press down firmly to flatten the chicken. Turn the chicken around and then cut along the other side of the backbone. Discard the backbone or save it and use it for homemade stock. Flip the chicken over so the skin side is facing up. Use the palm of your hand to press down and flatten the chicken.
  4. Add lemons to a baking sheet and add the chicken. Arrange the lemons in a single layer on an aluminum-foil-lined baking sheet. Place the chicken skin side up on the baking sheet on top of the lemons.
  5. Add butter to the chicken. Gently use your fingers to separate the chicken meat and the chicken skin, being careful not to tear it. Slip the chunks of butter under the skin. Rub the skin with the olive oil and garlic then season with salt and pepper.
  6. Cook the chicken. Roast the chicken until the skin is golden brown and crispy and the temperature of the thickest part of meat is 165ºF, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  7. Let rest and serve. Remove from oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Spatchcocked Roast Chicken Lemon and Garlic-28.jpg

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

  • Save the backbone and the rest of the bones to make homemade stock, it’s way easier and cheaper then buying stock at the store!
  • Slide butter under the skin for extra crispy chicken skin.
  • Pat the chicken dry prior to adding the butter and roasting! This will help the skin to crisp.
  • I save the chicken fat that renders when roasting. I use the schmaltz to cook vegetables or add flavor to the dumplings in this soup.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Lemon and Garlic Spatchcocked Chicken

lemon garlic spatchcocked chicken on cutting board
Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole (3-pound) fryer chicken
  • 2 medium lemons, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  • Place the chicken breast-side down on a clean workspace with the legs facing towards you. Starting at the thigh, cut along one side of the backbone with kitchen shears.
  • Turn the chicken around and then cut along the other side of the backbone. Discard the backbone or save it and use it for homemade stock. Flip the chicken over so the skin side is facing up. Use the palm of your hand to press down and flatten the chicken.
  • Arrange the lemons in a single layer on an aluminum-foil-lined baking sheet. Place the chicken skin side up on the baking sheet on top of the lemons.
  • Gently use your fingers to separate the chicken meat and the chicken skin, being careful not to tear it. Slip the chunks of butter under the skin. Rub the skin with the olive oil and garlic then season with salt and pepper.
  • Roast the chicken until the skin is golden brown and crispy and the temperature of the thickest part of meat is 165ºF, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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