Get Your Spatchcock on with Herb Crusted Chicken

Removing the backbone from fowl (spatchcocking) speeds up cooking time and yields an evenly cooked bird.

There are numerous recipes for herb-crusted pork and beef, but very few for chicken. Chicken deserves to be showered in flavor too so here’s a recipe for Herb Crusted Chicken. Removing the backbone and flattening the bird (spatchcocking) speeds up the cooking time and ensures that the dark meat cooks faster than the breast meat, which yields perfectly cooked meat every time.

1 tablespoon minced sage leaves
1 teaspoon minced thyme leaves
½ cup minced parsley
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons honey
4 to 5 pound chicken

In a medium bowl, combine the minced herbs, salt, black pepper, lemon juice, horseradish, and honey. Set this herb mixture aside at room temperature.

Preheat an oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil then place a flat cooking rack on top.

Use hefty culinary scissors to remove the backbone from the chicken – this will achieve a spatchcocked bird. To do this, start on one side of the pope’s nose (small tab of fat at the thigh end), and cut all the way to the opposite end of the fowl. Next, cut on the other side of the pope’s nose all the way to the opposite end. Note, you may have trouble near the wishbone and can go around if necessary.

Splay the chicken with the breast meat up and gently flatten the bird so that all parts are even in thickness – you may hear some cracking or crunching. Coat all parts of the chicken, on both sides, with the herb mixture. Lay the chicken, breast up, on the cooking rack and replace any herbs that fall off.


Place the spatchcocked chicken in the hot oven and cook for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and continue cooking the bird for another 30 to 40 minutes, depending on bird’s weight. Remove the chicken from the oven and insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh and breast. The dark meat in the thigh should read 170 to 175 and the breast meat should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 to 12 minutes before carving and serving.