> Recipe: Simple Herb Roasted Spatchcock Chicken - SNACK: Music, film, arts and culture magazine for Scotland

Recipe: Simple Herb Roasted Spatchcock Chicken


This herb roasted spatchcock chicken is fragrant with rosemary, thyme, and garlic. It’s so much tastier than bland old turkey for Christmas dinner; you’ll be won over by its crispy skin and juicy full-of-flavour meat. Cooking takes about an hour, as opposed to around 2 hours using the traditional method. Once you have learned how to spatchcock, with the cooking time saved and the moist meat served, you’ll wonder why you kept on roasting chicken the way your folks showed you. The full process, including the marinade, will take two days. If you can plan in advance, do the marinade. If you don’t have the time to marinate, don’t worry – the meat will still be moist, tender and juicy.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Basics
Servings 4
Author Foodie Explorers
Cost £15


  • 1 Medium whole organic chicken for roasting giblets removed
  • 1.5 tbsp coarse salt
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp grated garlic cloves about 3 large cloves
  • A couple of handfuls of fresh herbs, chopped rosemary and thyme, or any poultry seasoning fresh herbs
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Lemon Herb Chicken Gravy

  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 350 ml chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to your taste
  • Juice of half a lemon


Spatchcock the chicken

  • Remove the giblets and pat dry the chicken.
  • Use a pair of kitchen shears (or a sharp knife) to cut down each side of the back bone from the cavity up to the neck.
  • Remove the back bone and turn over the bird. Then use your hands to gently press both sides down to flatten the bird.

Prep and marinade

  • Spatchcock the chicken and lay it skin side up in a roasting pan.
  • Mix salt, pepper, garlic, herbs, and olive oil in a bowl.
  • Use your fingers to gently separate the skin from the meat, creating
    small pockets while being careful not to tear the skin.
  • Stuff the herb mixture under the skin and use your hands to carefully
    spread the herbs as evenly as you can.
  • Remember to season underneath the bird, too.
  • Drizzle with half of the lemon juice.
  • Cover and leave to marinate overnight in the fridge, if you can. If not,
    leave as long as you can.

The next day

  • Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6.
  • Uncover the bird and place in the roasting pan and into the oven.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Rotate the pan, then loosely cover the wings and any other parts
    which tend to brown quickly with foil.
  • Bake for an additional 20 minutes until the skin is crispy. If you have a
    meat thermometer the temperature should be 75C. If not, check that
    any juices from the chicken run clear.
  • Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest while you make the

Make your chicken gravy

  • Use the roasting pan from your chicken. This is not only to save dishes,
    but to get every bit of flavour from the bird.
  • Place the roasting pan on your hob. Over a medium/low heat, whisk
    in the cornflour until blended.
  • Then, whisk in the chicken stock.
  • Reduce the heat to low and let the gravy simmer.
  • Stir the gravy often and remove from the heat when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.
  • Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a gravy boat.
  • Writes about food and travel at Foodie Explorers website. Can be mostly found cuddling cats, watching crime documentaries and drinking a beer.

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