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How to Spatchcock Chicken (Butterfly Chicken) + Lemon Herb Sauce

Spatchcock chicken involves removing the backbone of a whole chicken, which then allows the chicken to completely open and flatten. This method gives you a tender whole chicken with perfectly crispy skin, in significantly less time than grilling or pan-frying.
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Course: Dinner, Main Course, Meal Prep
Cuisine: American, Healthy Options
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 545kcal
Author: Capri Lilly


  • 1 (3 to 4 pound) whole chicken

Lemon Herb Mixture

  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 4 Lemons, juiced (divided)
  • 5 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme, chopped
  • 4 Sprigs Fresh Sage, chopped
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Jalapeño, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Red Crushed Pepper
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper

Optional Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz can) Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1.5 cup fingerling potatoes
  • 1-2 bell peppers (any color), sliced


  • 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.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C)
  • Prepare the lemon herb mixture by combining all of the ingredients listed above. Rub the mixture generously over the chicken and under the skin.
  • Place the chicken breast side down in a cast-iron or baking sheet. Tuck the wings under the breast. (Add the optional ingredients to roast with the chicken for a heartier meal). Roast the chicken in the oven for 45 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+ is the chicken is fully cooked.
  • Squeeze juice of 1/2 of lemon over the chicken. Serve and enjoy! This chicken goes well with anything! I love to serve it with mashed potatoes and roasted seasonal vegetables.




Calories: 545kcal