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RECIPE: Spatchcock Chicken

October 9, 2020


Preparing Spatchcock chicken is more about technique than recipe instructions. The steps are straight-forward, and your whole chicken will cook much faster and more evenly, producing tender dark meat and juicy white meat.



  • Sharp kitchen shears
  • Roasting pan or oven-safe skillet
  • Meat thermometer


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Start with a fully thawed chicken. Remove giblets and rinse the carcass.
  3. With sharp kitchen shears, snip along each side of the spine from tail to neck and remove.
  4. Open the bird and lay it on a cutting board breast side up. Press firmly down on the carcass to help it lay as flat as possible. For larger birds, 4+ lbs, the breast cavity will stand proud, but the legs should fold toward the center and lay flat.
  5. Pat dry and rub with your choice of herbs and spices.
  6. Place your pasture-raised chicken in a pan and roast at 400°F for 15 minutes per lb. Your target internal temperature is 150-155°F in the breast meat and 170-175°F in the thick part of the thigh.
  7. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Carve and enjoy! If you need help with carving your chicken, watch this quick tutorial -->How to carve a whole chicken

Remove the spine by snipping along each side, working from tail to neck.


Birds should lay flat with legs folding toward the center, exposing more of the slower cooking dark meat to oven heat. Expect smaller birds weighing less than 3.5 lbs to lay very flat, while larger birds will sit more upright, leaving a cavity under the breasts. You can see the difference below. A 3 lb bird is in the blue skillet while a 4 lb bird is in the black skillet.


Eileen Napier

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