This is a very easy method for roasting a delicious and moist chicken. To cut the backbone out of the chicken enables you to flatten the chicken for cooking is referred to as spatchcock. Roasting a chicken flattened out also saves a few minutes of cooking time, so you can have roast chicken any day of the week! I find it handy to keep a few recipes on hand for roasting chicken so you have a few different flavor variations to enjoy. Lemon pepper is always a favorite. Choosing simple sides that can be added to the skillet during cooking will also allow you to create a true one skillet meal.
Prepare the chicken by placing the chicken breast side down and use a pair of kitchen shears to cut along each side of the backbone to remove. The kitchen shears cut through the bones very easily.
Discard the backbone, or freeze to use for making stock at another time if desired.
Flip the bird over and give a gently press to finish flattening it out.
If you would like to see a visual of how to spatchcock a chicken, please see the short video below.
Use paper towels to completely dry the skin of the chicken.
Combine softened butter and lemon pepper seasoning together.
Place a small amount of the butter mixture underneath the skin on the breast area. Use your fingers to gently slide the seasoned butter back under the skin and over the breast meat.
Apply the rest of the seasoned butter mixture to all of the skin areas of the chicken.
Okay go wash your hands, they’re a mess! 😉
Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to coat the bottom of a large cast iron skillet. If you don’t have a skillet large enough to accommodate the flattened bird, feel free to use a roasting pan.
Place the bird into the skillet.
Bake for 45 minutes.
If you plan to add vegetable sides to the skillet during cooking, I generally choose something that will not take long to cook and add those halfway through the baking time. For this dish, I chose baby red potatoes and fresh green beans.
After 45 minutes remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest 15 minutes before carving.
Garnish with lemon slices and fresh thyme if desired.