Savory Spatchcock Chicken Recipe: The Flavor Does Not Fall Flat by Donna John

Savory Spatchcock Chicken Recipe: The Flavor Does Not Fall Flat

Spatchcock chicken is simply a chicken that's been split and flattened. Where the term "spatchcock" comes from is under debate. Flattening the chicken makes it cook faster, and adding herbs and jalapenos ups the flavor factor. 

Spatchcock chicken is not hard at all to make. For this herbed spatchcock chicken recipe you will need a chicken, garlic, ground cumin, olive oil, paprika, dried oregano, lemons and optional jalapenos for a little spice.

The leftovers of this baked chicken recipe make incredible chicken salad. Serve this whole baked chicken for dinner with your favorite side dishes

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Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 to 55 minutes
Total Time: 55 to 65 minutes
Servings: 6 


  • 1 chicken (about 4 pounds)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 - 2 jalapenos (optional)

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Recipe Notes

  • Let the chicken rest before cutting so the juices stay inside and don't leak out. This makes for moister chicken.
  • Use the bones to make a rich chicken stock. 

Here’s how to make it:

  1. To prepare the chicken, cut along both sides of the backbone and remove (kitchen shears work perfect for this). Turn the chicken over and press down until it cracks and is flat. Season the entire outside with salt and pepper.
  2. Zest one of the lemons and juice both. Combine the garlic, cumin, oil, paprika, oregano and zest and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Mix well. Rub all over the chicken. Gently loosen the chicken’s skin and put some of the mixture underneath. Place the used lemons underneath the chicken along with the jalapeno, if using.
  3. Put the chicken into a baking pan. Cook in a preheated 400-degree F oven until done, about 45 to 55 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Allow chicken to rest about 10 minutes before cutting.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 333

Total Fat: 15g

Saturated Fat: 3.6g

Cholesterol: 130mg

Sodium: 130mg

Total Carbohydrate: 5.6g

Dietary Fiber: 1.9g

Total Sugars: 1.1g

Protein: 43.4g

Vitamin D: 0mcg

Calcium: 55mg

Iron: 4mg

Potassium: 485mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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Elisa Schmitz
I need this in my life. I love baked herb chicken. Thank you for the recipe, Gwen Johnson . Can't believe Chef Gigi Gaggero makes one of these every day!
Chef Gigi
It’s whats for breakfast! #keto
Donna John
This looks amazing. Kind of like brick chicken without the brick. :-) Going to try this ASAP. Why do you make one every day, Chef Gigi Gaggero ??
Chef Gigi
Cause its fast, cheap, and easy! And my family eats a KetoDiet! So delicious too!
Donna John
What seasonings do you use?
A frennch chef suggestion: the classic french recipes cut chicken down the middle, flatten it, slice under leg and thigh (not separating them), then cut off bone at end of each leg to speed up cooking. Then brown skinside in a large cast iron skillet. Then put in 425 oven skin side up for 30 minites. You can place sliced red potatoes, onions, mushroom around it in skillet before puyit in oven. Makes a delicious french style chicken.!
Chef Gigi
We only use salt and pepper. And cook it at 400’F 60 minutes. So delicious the skin is so crispy
Chef Gigi
When I roast a chicken at lower temp I use a compound butter of onion, garlic, parsley, thyme and marjoram or whatever is laying around. I avoid Rosemary on light meat tho . Donna John
Elisa Schmitz
Your pictures are wonderful and they help visualize the recipe so well, Donna John ! Thank you. I’m so encouraged to try this awesome recipe! Chef Gigi Gaggero Gwen Johnson
Chef Gigi
WOW! I love the progressive photos! The end result looks delicious !
Chef Gigi
Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds - ha ha ha “ Nothing flat about this flavor” Donna John
Gwen Johnson
One of my all-time favorites. Thank you for featuring it today!
Karen Vega
Looks great. I'll try it soon.
Sylvia Kay
Hi, just an observation. The pics show that the chicken was cut through the breastbone, not the back. Doesn't change the taste though. Making this today. Looks really good!
I'm about to make this tonight and am curious... why am I juicing two lemons, and then only using 2 tablespoons of the juice?
Donna John
Some limes are juicier than others. The spent limes are put under the skin.
I did put them under the bird, along with the jalapenos. Added a little more lemon juice to the rub and it turned out wonderfully. I subsituted harissa for cumin because my friends were missing it.
I was just getting to work on this when I realized the friends I was cooking for were missing cumin. We decided to substitute harissa, which worked out wonderfully well. I will try the cumin next time for comparison sake but suspect I may stick to the harissa in the future. This is definitely a keeper recipe and perhaps my favorite for roast chicken. I also added more lemon juice and garlic than was called for.
Donna John
Love the idea of using harissa. Great ingredient. So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Hope you'll try my harissa chicken recipes: food: Juicy Harissa Roasted Chicken Recipe Is Perfectly Spiced
I have made this one before, and for the same people I cooked for last night. I think I like this recipe with the harissa swap better. I also prefer cooking chicken at a higher temp. At 400, this took about 47 minutes. The 325 on the harissa paste chicken didn't work out so well.
question - you say juice two lemons but only ask for two tablespoons of lemon juice - what is happening to the remainder of the juice?

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