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Whole Baked Cajun Chicken

by Capri Lilly

This Baked Cajun Chicken is full-flavored, whole chicken, roasted to golden perfection with tender juicy meat just beneath the crispy skin. Once you have this roasted cajun chicken recipe, you’ll want to have it for lunch and dinner on a weekly basis. (This recipe is gluten-free.)

Learn how to spatchcock a chicken then try our Grilled Spatchcock Chicken Recipe, and Spatchcock Turkey next!

close up view of a whole baked cajun chicken on a platter surrounded by veggies and potatoes

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Baked cajun chicken is a deliciously moist roasted chicken seasoned with a simple but tasty spice mixture. If you’ve ever been intimidated by the thought of baking an entire bird, the spatchcock technique is for you! It’s very easy and yields the tastiest results!

There’s no dry, bland chicken in this kitchen! Every time I make this dish, it’s savory with a bold, spicy kick. Let me show you how to make the best baked cajun whole chicken using the spatchcock method!

Reasons This Baked Cajun Chicken Recipe Works

  • The Perfect Sheet Pan Meal. This balanced chicken dinner includes roasted potatoes and veggies.
  • Made Using the Spatchcock Method. If you want tender, succulent meat, this is the best way to prepare an entire chicken. The chicken cooks evenly and in less time. The instructions are super easy to follow!
  • Great for Meal Prep. Bake the entire chicken and you can use leftovers throughout the week for sandwiches, salads, and wraps.
  • Easy to Make! There’s no need to brine or marinate. Instead, we slather the chicken in a delicious cajun butter mixture and put it straight in the oven.
close up view of a whole baked  chicken on a platter surrounded by veggies and potatoes

What Is Spatchcock Chicken?

To spatchcock, or butterfly a chicken is to remove the spine and breast bone from the chicken.

What are the benefits of spatchcocking a chicken?

When you remove the spine you are able to roast the chicken flat, which exposes it to more heat and cuts the cooking time in half. Instead of it taking an hour and a half, the chicken cooks for 45 minutes. Plus, the result is always juicy, flavorful chicken.

Removing the backbone also allows you to put the marinade under the skin of the chicken. So, instead of putting all the flavor and seasoning on the outside of the chicken and poking holes in the chicken or just hoping the flavor seeps through, you can put any seasonings or marinades directly on the meat.

When you butterfly (spatchcock) the chicken, it comes out with a PERFECT, GOLDEN, CRISPY crust and TENDER, JUICY, FLAVORFUL meat. Here are a few tools you’ll need:

  • Sharp Kitchen Shears: Using sharp poultry or kitchen shears will make removing the breastbone very easy. Use kitchen shears like these for the best results.
  • Large Knife and Boning Knife: Sharp knives help with breaking and/or removing the cartilage and rib bones. This is the boning knife I use: Mercer Culinary Boning Knife | Amazon.
  • Instant Thermometer: Checking the Grilled Spatchcock Chicken temperature is the best way to determine the doneness and ensure it is properly cooked. This instant thermometer is less than $10 and works well: Meat Thermometer | Amazon.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Whole chicken: It should be about 3-5 pounds.

What You Need to Make a Butterflied Cajun Chicken

Cajun Butter Mixture

This flavored butter gives the baked chicken a rich flavor and a golden-brown color.

  • Butter: You can use salted or unsalted. Use ghee to make this recipe Whole30 compliant
  • Garlic cloves: Mince before mixing.
  • Seasoning: I used a bold, zesty mix of smoked paprika (use regular paprika as an alternative), chili powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, sea salt (to taste), and black pepper.
  • Herbs: Use fresh or dried thyme and fresh parsley.

For the Potatoes and Peppers

  • Bell peppers: Use whatever variety you prefer.
  • Onion: Slice them.
  • Avocado oil: You could also use olive oil.
  • Baby potatoes: They should be cleaned and cut in half before they are seasoned.
  • Salt and pepper: To taste.
  • Cajun butter mixture: Reserve 1 tablespoon to season the potatoes.
close up view of spatchcock chicken on a platter with potatoes and peppers

How to Make Baked Cajun Chicken

How to Spatchcock Chicken

  1. Clean and prepare the chicken by removing any neck parts and gizzards. Be sure to rinse and dry the chicken with a towel.
  2. Using kitchen shears, cut along the backbone from the tail to the neck. Cut along both sides of the backbone until it is removed completely. You can save the backbone piece to make stock or throw it away.
  3. Then flip the chicken over and break the breastbone to flatten the bird by either pressing down on both sides of the breastbone until the bones crack, or taking a boning knife to cut along the bone to remove it from the chicken.
  4. Cut off the wingtips. Place the chicken, with its backbone removed on a plastic cutting board, breast side down.

Roasting The Chicken

MAKE THE CAJUN MIXTURE. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Prepare the cajun mixture by combining the spices, butter, and minced garlic. Set aside 1 tbsp of the cajun butter mixture to season the potatoes.

a bowl of cajun butter ingredients
overhead view of a bowl of cajun butter mixture with a spoon inserted
  1. SEASON THE CHICKEN. Rub the cajun butter generously over the chicken and under the skin. Place the chicken breast side down on a cast-iron or baking sheet. Tuck the wings under the breast.
  2. ADD POTATOES AND PEPPERS. Add the potatoes to a small bowl and toss them in the cajun butter. Then add the potatoes and peppers to roast with the chicken for a heartier meal.
  3. ROAST AND SERVE BAKED CAJUN CHICKEN. Roast the chicken in the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until the skin is golden and crisp. Insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. The thermometer should read 165°F if the chicken is fully cooked.
  4. LET THE CHICKEN REST for 5-10 minutes before carving. Finally, serve and enjoy!
4 step visual showing how to make cajun chicken

Tips To Nail the Recipe

  • Do not overcook the chicken. Use a meat thermometer to accurately measure when the chicken is done. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, slice into the thickest part of the chicken, and the juices should run clear.
  • Let the baked cajun chicken rest after roasting. This allows the juices to redistribute so the chicken is moist when you slice it.
  • Make the cajun butter mild or spicy by using more or less cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.

Storage and Reheating

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and consume within 5 days. Leftover chicken can also be frozen for up to 2 months.

When you are ready to reheat, defrost if necessary then microwave leftovers. Alternatively, you can use cold chicken for salads, sandwiches, and wraps.

overhead view of plated chicken thigh with roasted potatoes and veggies

What to Serve with Baked Cajun Chicken

This roasted cajun chicken is baked with potatoes and peppers, but here are some other tasty ways to enjoy it:

Common Questions

Is butterfly chicken the same as spatchcock chicken?

Yes, butterfly chicken and spatchcock chicken are synonymous. The method is the same and results in a chicken with the backbone removed.

What is cajun seasoning made of?

Cajun seasoning usually includes black pepper, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Salt, dried thyme, chili powder, and red crushed pepper flakes are an optional inclusion.

Can I make baked cajun chicken without using the spatchcock method?

Yes. If you want to roast a whole chicken the regular way, then the cooking time will increase. Add an additional 30 minutes.

close up view of a whole baked cajun chicken on a platter surrounded by veggies and potatoes

I Hope You Enjoy This Baked Cajun Chicken Recipe!

If you try the recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments. Leave a quick review & star rating ★ below! Take pictures, tag #goodfoodbaddie, and share them with me on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest! I love seeing my recipes come to life in your kitchen.

More Chicken Recipes To Try!

close up view of spatchcock chicken on a platter with potatoes and peppers

Whole Baked Cajun Chicken

Baked cajun chicken is full-flavored, whole chicken, roasted to golden perfection with tender juicy meat just beneath the crispy skin. Once you have this roasted cajun chicken recipe, you'll be enjoying it for lunch and dinner on a weekly basis. (This recipe is gluten-free.)
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Meal Prep
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 5
Calories: 313kcal
Author: Capri Lilly

Ingredients

  • 1 (3-5 lbs) Whole chicken

Cajun Butter Mixture

  • 5 tbsp Butter
  • 4 Garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp Smoked paprika or regular paprika
  • 2 tsp Chili powder
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Sea salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 4 sprigs Thyme or 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp Fresh parsley

For the Potatoes and Peppers

  • 3 Bell peppers (yellow, orange, red, or green) of choice
  • 1 Onion sliced
  • 1 tbsp Avocado oil
  • 1 lb Baby potatoes cleaned and cut in half
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp Cajun butter mixture

Instructions

Spatchcock The Chicken

  • Clean and prepare the chicken by removing any neck parts and gizzards. Be sure to rinse and dry the chicken with a towel.
  • Using kitchen shears, cut along the backbone from the tail to the neck. Cut along both sides of the backbone until it is removed completely. You can save the backbone piece to make stock or throw it away.
  • Now, flip the chicken over and break the breastbone to flatten the bird by either pressing down on both sides of the breastbone until the bones crack, or taking a boning knife to cut along the bone to remove it from the chicken.
  • Cut off the wingtips. Place the chicken, with its backbone removed on a plastic cutting board, breast side down.

Roasting The Chicken

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Prepare the cajun mixture by combining the spices, butter, and minced garlic. Set aside 1 tbsp of the cajun butter mixture to season the potatoes.
  • Rub the cajun butter generously over the chicken and under the skin.
  • Place the chicken breast side down on a cast-iron or baking sheet. Tuck the wings under the breast.
  • Add the potatoes to a small bowl and toss them in the cajun butter. Add the potatoes and peppers to roast with the chicken for a heartier meal.
  • Roast the chicken in the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until the skin is golden and crisp. Insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. The thermometer should read 165°F is the chicken is fully cooked.
  • Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before carving. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Tips To Nail the Recipe

  • Do not overcook the chicken. Use a meat thermometer to accurately measure when the chicken is done. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, slice into the thickest part of the chicken, and the juices should run clear.
  • Let the baked cajun chicken rest after roasting. This allows the juices to redistribute so the chicken is moist when you slice it.
  • Make the cajun butter mild or spicy by using more or less cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
 
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Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 19.7g | Protein: 15.6g | Fat: 20.6g | Saturated Fat: 7.4g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 468mg | Potassium: 563mg | Fiber: 3.9g | Sugar: 4.6g | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 3mg

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