Photo: Greg Dupree
Active Time
18 Mins
Total Time
11 Hours 13 Mins
Serves 6 (serving size: about 3 oz. chicken with skin)

You can ask your supermarket butcher to spatchcock (butterfly) the chicken for you.

How to Make It

Step 1

Use fingers to loosen skin under chicken breasts and legs. Rub meat beneath skin evenly with salt. Pat skin completely dry. Place chicken, skin side up, in a 13- x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Place dish, uncovered, on bottom shelf of refrigerator; chill 8 hours or overnight.

Step 2

Remove chicken dish from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Preheat oven to 200°F. Place dish in oven; roast chicken, skin side up, 2 hours and 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 155°F in meatiest part of breast and at least 165°F in meatiest part of thigh.

Step 3

Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add oil to pan. Add chicken to pan, skin side down; cook 3 minutes or until skin is browned and crispy. Remove from pan; let stand 30 minutes before carving.

Step 4

How to Master the Method


1. Spatchcock the Bird: With the chicken breast-side down, use kitchen shears to cut along both sides of the backbone, and remove it. Flip the chicken breast-side up, and then press down on the breasts until bones crack and the bird lays flat.

2. Salt & Air-chill: Rub salt evenly into the meat under the skin. The salt penetrates deeply into the meat and seasons the chicken over several hours, as with a wet brine. The advantage here: The chicken isn't underwater, so the skin dries as it chills, making it easier to brown and crisp in a pan later.

3. Roast Low & Slow: Roasting at 200°F keeps the meat from seizing up and squeezing out lots of juice, a risk you run with high oven temps. The chicken's temperature rises slowly, so you're less likely to overcook it. And roasting it skin-side up dries the skin even more before the pan-browning.

4. Brown & Crisp: Unlike with whole chickens, it's easy to sear the skin on a spatchcocked bird. Just a few minutes sizzling in a hot pan will yield crunchy, golden skin without overcooking the meat.


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