Roasted Spatchcocked Citrus Chicken


Want a quick and deliciously moist chicken? A beautiful meal to “wow” your family or guests with little effort to prepare? Then try this easy, roasted, spatchcocked (funny sounding, right?) citrus chicken. It will become your favorite roasted chicken recipe to prepare! It has a light citrusy aromatic flavor with a touch of rosemary and thyme. A melted butter sauce to ever so lightly drizzle over with all of the chicken flavored juices. Serve this with the roasted sweet lemon and orange slices, a side salad and some mashed potatoes and you will put a happy smile on everyone’s face!

Now, since we are working with chicken, we want to prep everything prior to handling the chicken to keep everyone safe. It’s called “mise en place”, a French culinary phrase meaning “putting in place.” This is actually the way to prepare all of your recipes/meals as to not forget any ingredients or have something burn while trying to prep additional/forgotten ingredients. I also like to keep several pieces of paper towels nearby for that quick chicken wipe up and then later wash with soap and water.

So, you may be wondering, why spatchcocked chicken, and what is it? The why is because it cooks faster and evenly and the what is chicken with the backbone removed and then flipping over the chicken and pressing down on the breastbone to flatten out the chicken. My 4 1/2 pound chicken cooked in 40 minutes! You just save the backbone for next time you make chicken stock. A nice bonus meal! You may actually prep the chicken the night before, place it in the fridge and the next day just take it out of the fridge about 20 minutes before popping it into the hot preheated oven. Take the chicken out while you preheat your oven to 450 degrees farenheit. This is a hot oven and it will crisp up the skin very nicely. You want to check the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer gently inserted into the leg without hitting the bone. Once it reaches 165 degrees, remove the chicken and place it while still on the sheet pan on trivets and allow to rest for 15 minutes. While it’s resting, baste it all over with the buttery sauce then slice, serve and Enjoy!

Roasted Spatchcocked Citrus Chicken

Ingredients: Serves 4-6

1 4-6 pound whole organic chicken

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced into 1 tablespoon increments

1 whole organic orange, washed and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 whole organic lemon, washed and sliced 1/4 inch thick


Preheat oven to 450 degrees farenheit. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a sheet of parchment paper on top.

In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper and dried thyme. Slice the lemon and orange. Take a stick of butter and cut it in half. This will give you 4 tablespoons. Slice the 4 tablespoons into 8 slices.

Take the chicken and remove any gizzrds from the inside cavity and place to the side. (You can use this at another time along with the backbone for chicken stock) Carefully, with water running slowly (to prevent chicken juice to splatter) rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place on a large cutting board. Place the chicken breast side down. Using kitchen shears, cut out the backbone and set aside for later use for stock. Turn the chicken over and using your hands firmly press down on the breast of the chicken to flatten it down.

Place the fresh rosemary, lemon and orange slices onto the prepared rimmed baking sheet. Place the chicken ontop (breast side up) and tuck the wings under the chicken to prevent them from burning. Carefully, slide your fingers under the skin of the breast to separate the skin from the chicken. Stuff with the butter slices. You may push the butter slices from the top of the chicken by carefully just pushing the butter using your fingers.

Season all over with your spice mix and place in your preheated oven for 40 minutes. Carefully (there will be a lot of juice in the pan) remove the pan from the oven and check the temperature of the chicken. If it hasn’t reached 165 degrees farenheit, place it back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes and check again. Everyone’s oven temperature varies a bit so your cooking time may vary from mine. Once it has reached temperature place the sheet pan on trivets and allow the chicken to rest ( cutting into meat right away creates a dry meat, by allowing it to rest all the juices redistribute and the meat will be super moist and tender). While it is resting keep basting it with the pans’ buttery and citrus juices. Slice and serve with the lemon and orange slices. Enjoy!


One Comment Add yours

  1. Sydney says:

    This sounds delicious!!! Thank you!

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