Lemon Herb Spatchcock Chicken Recipe

If you want the juiciest chicken with the crispiest skin and the most incredible flavor, then this is what you need to do Lemon Herb Spatchcock Chicken!

As I was pregnant With our second child, I was unable to cook, eat, or even think about both. But it was like taking a surfer from the sea. I was determined to make better meals than ever when I had the baby. And spatchcock chicken was oddly at the top of my list. I have absolutely no idea why I was so obsessed with chicken, but it ended up being a blessing. It gave me something to look forward to. Deciding, without ever deciding, that I would not only survive the post-traumatic pregnancy, I would thrive.

A photo of a spatchcock chicken covered golden with herbs and slices of lemon.

I’m not saying that someone going through something tough should only think about chicken to fix things because, again, I WOULD NOT be thinking about chicken during this time. But maybe there’s something about positive psychology that might draw us away from AB found in the kitchen. So, without telling you what I think… but… what’s the happiest memory you have regarding food?

Why is eating more associated with happiness than with sadness?

I’ll go on, I know you just want the recipe, but it’s something to think about. Is there a secret about food and cooking that could improve your happiness amidst your exam?

What is a spatchcock chicken?

A spatchcock chicken is the same as a butterfly chicken. It’s a method of cooking chicken where you remove the backbone from a whole chicken and flatten it so it lays flat and cooks more evenly. For some reason this little bird’s legs curled up again at the end, but other than that it will lie much flatter than it is here.

a photo of juicy, tenderly sliced ​​chicken breasts with crispy skin.

Why spatchcock a chicken?

If you roast a whole chicken, the chicken breasts will sit higher and cook and dry out first while the rest of the chicken comes up to temperature.

With a spatchcock chicken, everything is even and roasted evenly, resulting in juicy chicken breasts, thighs, drumsticks… whole chicken!

And the skin turns out so crispy and delicious! I dare say that once you have a spatchcock, you will never fry a chicken any other way.

Do you flip a spatchcock while cooking?

No, a spatchcock does not need to be turned over while cooking. You broil it flesh side up and it will come up to temperature just fine without turning.

a photo of a large circular white platter with a dissected chicken separated into sliced ​​chicken breasts, thighs and whole legs surrounded by toasted lemon wedges and fresh herbs.

What do I need to prepare spatchcock chicken?

All you have to do is grab a whole chicken and then head to the fresh herbs and citrus produce section. Everything else you need you probably already have in the pantry. BONUS…this recipe is so budget friendly! Here’s what you need:

  • Whole Chicken: A 4-5 pound chicken works best with skin
  • Kosher Salt: adds flavor
  • Pepper: adds flavor


  • Olive Oil: serves as the base for the marinade, helping the chicken stay juicy while the skin crisps up
  • Garlic: adds flavor
  • Fresh Rosemary: Fresh rosemary is preferred, but use dried if you must
  • Fresh Parsley: Fresh is preferred, but use dried if you must
  • Lemons: You should grate 1 lemon completely and squeeze 1-2 lemons. The third lemon is sliced ​​and placed on top of the chicken while it roasts.
  • Lime juice: fresh is by far the best option here
  • Orange Zest: You will need the zest of 1 orange
  • Orange Juice: You should only need 1 orange to get the juice you need and fresh is best of course
  • Honey: Adds natural sweetness

The measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card below, along with instructions on how to prepare the entire recipe.

How to spatchcock a chicken

The basic idea is to remove the backbone with very sharp kitchen scissors and then flatten the whole chicken. To do this, place the chicken breast-side down and neck toward you. Then use kitchen scissors to cut through the ribs on either side of the spine and remove the spine.

Next, open the rib cage and use a heavy knife to score the breastbone on the inside of the chicken. This will help if you turn the chicken over to flatten the chicken. Before turning it, season the inside with salt.

Now turn the chicken over so the breast side is up. Then press firmly on the breastbone with the palm of your hand so the chicken is lying flat. You have now spatchcocked the chicken and are ready to place it in the marinade.

a photo of succulent roasted chicken breast strips topped with fresh herbs and surrounded by lemon wedges.

What do you eat with fried chicken?

I love this chicken with all my heart, but I love finding the best side dishes to go with it even more! Here are some of our favourites:

Ideas for using leftovers

This chicken recipe makes chicken so delicious and juicy, you’ll want to use up all the leftovers (if there are any!). You can eat it as is or you can use it in other recipes like our exceptional Chicken Pot Pie, Hawaiian Haystack, Chicken Noodle Soup, or Pesto Chicken Noodles. And that’s only 4 possibilities! I could probably list a hundred more. Search the blog for fried chicken and you can use this chicken to replace fried chicken in any recipe.

Store, reheat, and freeze roast chicken

storage: Store the chicken in an airtight container and it will keep for up to 3 days.

warm up: You have a couple of ways to reheat chicken. One is to reheat it in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the chicken in an ovenproof bowl, add 1/2 cup of chicken broth to keep it moist and cover the bowl with foil. It takes about 20 minutes to heat through. This option keeps the skin crisp and doesn’t dry out the chicken.

The second option is to use the microwave. Place the chicken on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave it for a few minutes and it should be ready to go. The skin loses some of its crispiness, but it’s a quick and easy reheating option.

Freeze: This chicken freezes really well. I like to use the Food Saver to store leftovers and it lasts up to 3 months. If you don’t have a food saver, you can just use a ziplock bag and squeeze out as much air as possible.

A photo of a fried spatchcock chicken that has been cut up on a large platter, with sliced ​​chicken breasts and crispy skin on top.

Once you go spatchcock you’ll never go back! That’s a guarantee from me! And I also promise that I will do this spatchcock chicken is easy and eating it with the people you love will bring comfort, happiness and a full tummy!

More EASY CHICKEN RECIPES you’ll love:

Servings: 6 People

Preparation time: 6 Hours

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Prepare the chicken

  • Lay the chicken breast-side down and neck toward you. Using kitchen scissors, cut the ribs on either side of the spine. Open the chest and use a heavy knife to score the sternum. This will help push out the breastbone and flatten the chicken. Season the inside of the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.

  • Turn the chicken breast-side up and press firmly over the breastbone with the palm of your hand to force the chicken to lie completely flat.


  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the marinade ingredients, including the zest of 1 lemon and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Cut 3 slices from the other lemon and set aside.

  • Pour into a Ziploc and add the chicken, smoothing out the bag to coat the chicken. Leave in the fridge for a few hours to overnight.

Boil the chicken

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  • Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking.

  • Place the whole, raw chicken, cut-side down, on a baking sheet. Pour the marinade on top of the chicken and place 3 lemon slices on top of the chicken and place in the oven.

  • Bake uncovered at 425˚F for 45 minutes or until the instant read thermometer reads 160˚F when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken breast. Remove from the oven and let rest uncovered on a cutting board for 10 minutes before slicing.

Portion: 6ouncesCalories: 354kcalCarbohydrates: 10GProtein: 28GFat: 23GSaturated Fatty Acids: 6GPolyunsaturated fat: 5GMonounsaturated fatty acids: 10GTrans fats: 0.1GCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 492mgPotassium: 391mgFiber: 2GSugar: 5GVitamin A: 366ieVitamin C: 38mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 2mg

Course: Mom’s Best 100 Easy Chicken Recipes, 500+ family dinner recipe ideas

Kitchen: American

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