Chicken Spatchcock Roast

Prep Time: 0:15
Cook Time: 1:40
Serves: 4

Ingredients / Shopping List

1 chicken ( about 3 lb or 1.5kg)

6- 8 cloves fresh garlic

2 tsp onion seeds

250ml natural Greek style yoghurt

2 tsp paprika

2 tsp turmeric

1 lemon 

1 large onion


Cornish sea salt

Ground black pepper

Prep to Cook: Roasting tray, 2 wooden skewers, kitchen scissors, lemon squeezer, basin, teaspoons

Prep: The Bird

Spatchcock the chicken.  Place the whole bird bread side down on the kitchen unit and insert kitchen scissors at one side of the ‘parsons nose’  Cut up the left side of the backbone and to the neck end.  Repeat the process to the right of the ‘parsons nose’ cutting until you remove the whole backbone in one piece.

Turn the chicken so that the breast is facing you and press firmly to flatten the bird.  Insert the skewers through the leg and come out through the breast either side.  You should now have a flat bird to roast off.  The bird resembles a butterfly!

 Prep:  The Marinade

Mix the yoghurt and the spices (turmeric, paprika and onion seeds) with lemon juice

Retain the lemon skins and pop into the roasting try with the onion to add more flavour

Peel the garlic cloves and slice lengthwise to make slivers.

Using a sharp knife tip, pierce the chicken skin in several places and insert shards of garlic clove

Now coat the skin with the yoghurt mix and leave in the refrigerator for several hours

Peel and slice the onion and break it up with 2 tablespoons cooking oil

 Prep:   To Roast

Put this into a roasting tin (with the lemon skins) and place the marinaded  spatch chicken on the top

Drizzle with cooking oil and roast at Electric 200ºC or Gas Mark 6 for 1 hour 30 mins

Check it out!


Chicken, chicken, chicken, can we ever have enough!!  Apparently not . . . so here is a different way of serving a chicken.  I am a late entry ‘spatchcocker’ but fully converted now to this technique that speeds up the roasting time.

Creme fraiche can be used instead of yoghurt.  If you use a large roasting chicken increase the cooking time to allow for the weight of the chicken.

Recipe Science

Cooks Know How: This recipe is all about using a marinade to provide flavour.  Marinades also tenderise when they contain some acid such as that from yoghurt and also the lemon juice.  The spices add further flavour and in this case colour.  Your skill is in the marriage of all the flavours with a thorough roast method.  Roasting is a hot method and the bed of onions and lemon with protect the bird from underneath and the marinade with protect the top.  The chicken will look very golden when it is cooked and the coating will become crispy.  The spatchcock method enables easy dividing up of the bird when it is cooked and is delightful as a pick and share dish.  Serve it with a tray of roasted potatoes and  whole vegetables.  An accompaniment of fruit, spicy chutney goes well with this dish.  It is useful to remember that a whole chicken is often cheaper than portions so this meal is good value for money.


A spatchcock, otherwise known as "spattlecock", is poultry or game that is prepared for roasting or grilling by removing the backbone and sternum of the bird and flattening it out before cooking.

To remove the backbone and flatten a bird out is to butterfly the bird. Spatchcock is the traditional word for the French term "poussin", a juvenile chicken. Spatchcock were generally butterflied in preparation for faster cooking rather than slow roasting, hence the English confusion