Many supermarkets now sell spatchcocked chickens. If you are unable to purchase an already spatchcocked chicken, you can do the procedure in your own kitchen. Place a whole chicken, breast side down, on a large clean cutting board. Using sharp kitchen shears and starting at a thigh end, cut along 1 side of the backbone. Turn chicken around and cut along the other side of the backbone. Remove the backbone and either discard it or use it to make stock. Open the chicken like a book and press firmly on each breastbone to flatten the chicken. 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons Mediterranean Sea Salt

3 cloves minced garlic

2 whole lemons, preferably organic

1 whole spatchcocked chicken, 3 ½ to 4 pounds

Freshly ground black pepper to taste 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425. F.
  2. Place the softened butter in a small mixing bowl and mash the Mediterranean Sea Salt and minced garlic into the butter with the tines of a fork until evenly combined. Use a microplane to grate the zest from the 2 lemons and mash it into the butter. Squeeze the juice from 1 of the lemons into the butter and mash to incorporate. Slice the other lemon into thin rounds.
  3. Arrange the lemon slices over the bottom of a roasting pan or ovenproof skillet large enough to hold the spatchcocked chicken in a single layer. Smear the seasoned butter evenly over both sides of the spatchcocked chicken and place it, breast side facing up, on top of the lemon slices. Grind some black pepper evenly over the top of the chicken.
  4. Place the chicken on a center rack in the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375 F. Roast the chicken until the skin is beautifully browned and the temperature in the breast reads between 160 and 165 F. on an instant-read thermometer, about1 to 1 ¼ hours. Let the chicken rest for 7 to 8 minutes before carving into serving pieces. Spoon some of the pan drippings and lemon slices over each serving. 


Written by Sarah Leah Chase

Sarah Leah Chase moved to Nantucket, Massachusetts, as a year-round resident in 1980 and opened a specialty food shop and catering business called Que Sera Sarah, which soon became an island institution.


Sarah develops recipes and concepts for her husband Nigel’s specialty food company, Coastal Goods. She lives with her family on Cape Cod, where she enjoys oystering and gardening as much as cooking.