Learn how easy it to spatchcock a chicken – step by step! My roasted herb butter spatchcock chicken is fancy enough to serve dinner guests and perfect for meal prepping on Sunday for weeknight dinners!


If possible spatchcock the chicken and season with salt, cover and refrigerate the chicken overnight. This will allow the salt to penetrate the skin and get all the way down to the meat. If you do this, you can cut the salt in the herb butter back to 1/4 teaspoon.
If crispy roasted skin is important to you (is there anyone that doesn’t prioritize this?) make sure you don’t cover the chicken when you pull it out of the oven and allow it to rest. Tenting the chicken will cause the skin to steam and make it less crispy.

  •     4 – 4 ½ pound whole chicken
  •     4 tablespoons softened butter
  •     2 tablespoons parsley, divided
  •     4 – 6 cloves garlic, minced
  •     1 tablespoon lemon juice
  •     2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  •     1 teaspoon EACH: fresh rosemary AND fresh thyme (or ½ dried)
  •     ½ teaspoon pepper

  1. PREP: Place the chicken on a clean surface and pat the chicken dry using paper towels. Flip the chicken breast side down. Use sharpened kitchen shears, with the neck side towards you, find the spine and cut on both sides of the spine, making sure you don’t remove excess meat. Remove the spine and save it to make stock later! Flip the bird over so it’s breast side up and use your palms to press down the sternum (breast bone) with force so it cracks and the breast and legs lay flat on the surface. Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt on both sides. Place the chicken breast side up on a wire rack (placed on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment.) let the chicken hang out for at least 35-45 minutes at room temperature if time permits, this will undoubtedly yield better results. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  2. HERB BUTTER: Combine the softened butter with the garlic, thyme, lemon juice/zest, ½ teaspoon salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of parsley. Smash with a fork until well mixed. Lay the spatchcocked chicken on a flat surface and gently raise the skin and dot about ½ of the prepared herb butter. Spread the remaining butter all over the chicken.
  3. BAKE: the chicken uncovered for 40-45 minutes or until an instant read thermometer registers at 156-158ºF in the thickest part of the chicken breast. The temperature will continue to rise as the chicken rests (anywhere between 7-10ºF) so you want to make sure you don’t leave the chicken in the oven too long. Allow the chicken to rest for 10-12 minutes, uncovered before slicing.


  1. Once you have a spatchcock chicken, salt it all over the skin and the underside and allow the chicken to rest for 45 minutes at room temperature. This allows the salt to penetrate through the skin and season the chicken more evenly. Also, it prevents the chicken from steaming in the oven.
  2. Loosen the skin of the chicken, and gently dot it with half of the prepared herb butter. Rub the remaining half of the herb butter on the skin itself.
  3. Roast the chicken for 40-45 minutes or until the chicken reaches 156-158ºF on an instant read thermometer. The chicken will continue to cook for another 7-10º when you allow it to rest.


    see the blog post for step-by-step pictures on how to spatchcock a chicken.