Spatchcock Chicken & Vegetables – One-Pan Dinner

Who came up with the word “spatchcock” I was wondering one day as I was deciding how to cook a whole chicken. Well, here’s the scoop according to

“The first references to “spatchcocking” appear in 18th-century Irish cookbooks. It’s been said that “spatchcock” is an abbreviation of “dispatch the cock.” In other words, to kill the chicken.

However, spatchcocking actually refers to a specific way of preparing the chicken so it can be flattened to cook quickly by grilling, roasting, or broiling, or over an open fire.”

So I have a whole chicken and I’m going to attempt to spatchcock it, roast it, and eat it. Hmmm, if this doesn’t work, there’s always something I can pull out of the freezer or I can open a jar of homemade pasta sauce and make spaghetti. Before I give in to either of those options, I am determined to try this spatchcock method of cooking chicken. Here goes!

Cutting down the backbone of the chicken, even with chicken sheers was challenging for me. A knife will work just as good, maybe better, depending on your hand strength. Here is a short video from on how to spatchcock your chicken. Spatchcock chicken

The secret to this recipe I think is the garlic butter spread. It seeps into the chicken and crisps the skin while it cooks. 

Tuck the wings under the chicken. Lather the garlic butter spread all over the chicken. 

One-pot cooking makes this dinner easy, adding the vegetables to the pan after the chicken has a head start. I used zucchini, onions, potatoes, and carrots. 

Serve with pan juices. It turned out so flavorful and juicy.

Spatchcock Chicken

Yields 4

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  • 1 whole chicken (about 5 pounds)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1-2 whole white onions, cut in quarters
  • 3-4 small potatoes, halved (I used russets or use your favorite variety)
  • 3-4 small carrots, peeled and trimmed
  • 1-2 small zucchini, cut in large chunks (equal to potato chunks)


  1. PREP: Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil.
  2. SPATCHCOCK: Rinse the chicken, and pat dry. Place chicken, breast side down, on a cutting board. Using poultry shears or knife, cut along both sides of backbone, and remove. Turn chicken breast side up, and press firmly against breastbone until it cracks. (Check video included in this post for tips.)
  3. Place chicken breast side up in a large rimmed baking pan. Tuck wing tips under so they don't burn.
  4. GARLIC BUTTER: Combine garlic and salt on a cutting board. Using the flat edge of a knife, mash into a paste. Combine the garlic paste, butter, thyme, zest, and pepper in a bowl. Rub the garlic mixture under and on the skin of chicken breasts and thighs.
  5. BAKE: Bake chicken in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce heat to 400°F. Arrange potatoes, carrots, onions, and zucchini around chicken.
  6. Return chicken to the oven and bake 35-40 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of the chicken registers 165°F.
  7. Let stand 5 minutes, then cut up chicken, and serve with pan juices.

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