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Lemon Herb Spatchcock Chicken

  • Author: Katja Heino
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 whole chicken 1x


  • 3.5 to 4 pound chicken
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp fresh herbs, chopped (like rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley, etc)
  • zest from one lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp melted ghee or avocado oil
  • extra salt for sprinkling
  • 3 tbsp bone broth or water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh herbs, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 425’F. 
  2. To spatchcock chicken: Prep chicken by removing any gizzards and patting dry. Place on a large plate or metal baking sheet breast side down. Using a good pair of kitchen scissors, cut along one side of the backbone all the way from the tail to the neck. Repeat on other side. (Save the neck bone for homemade broth.) Flip chicken over and open it like a book. Press firmly on breastbone to crack the breastbone and to flatten. Snip off wing tips as they tend to burn during cooking. (Save them for making broth.)
  3. To make compound butter: mash together softened butter, fresh herbs, lemon zest, garlic, and salt. 
  4. To season: Place chicken, skin side up, into a large greased cast iron skillet. Run your hands under the chicken skin on the breast and legs to separate it from the chicken body. Place dollops of compound butter all over underneath the skin and then press down over the skin to spread around. 
  5. Drizzle melted ghee or avocado oil over the outside skin and sprinkle lightly with a bit of salt. 
  6. Roast in oven for 45-50 minutes, until a thermometer in the thickest part of the breast reaches 165 degrees.  Times will vary depending on size of chicken. Remove from oven and place chicken on large plate to rest while you make the pan sauce. 
  7. To make lemon herb pan sauce: To the chicken drippings already in the pan, add  broth (or water) and fresh lemon juice.  Bring to a simmer on the stove top for about 1-2 minutes to reduce slightly, whisking frequently. Add any juices that have pooled on the plate from the chicken. Turn off heat and add fresh herbs.  Pour pan sauce over entire chicken OR reserve it to serve individually as you eat.