Herb Butter Spatchcock Chicken and Roasted Vegetables is incredibly juicy on the inside with a crispy, golden skin. The roasted potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms make this a one-pan meal perfect for a Family Dinner or a Dinner Party.
I recently, and thoroughly, enjoyed Spatchcock Chicken a few weeks ago at our family reunion held in the gorgeous town of Manatowish Waters, Wisconsin. If you are looking for a cooler summer destination, this place has it all. Lakes, trails, biking, fishing, cranberry bogs, great local craft beer, and of course, cheese.
Four generations that originated in Lawrence, Nebraska with German immigrant roots, meet every 3 years for a 3 day weekend in a somewhat central part of the country as the extended families are now nationwide. The location is usually a statepark with a large dining/visiting area and a connected commercial kitchen that has outdoor facilities suitable for yard games, bonfires, and live music.
This is the branch of my family where all my food loving genes originate. In addition to a family directory with every branch, name, address, birthday, and phone number, our family has it’s own cookbook. And not just one, but two. There are copies of hand written recipes from a hundred years ago that still make appearances and I just love that.
But on to the food. Meal planning is a Big deal and rotates every reunion from one branch on to the next so everyone’s specialties have a chance to shine. Roasted pork loin with cherry bourbon sauce, cheesy polenta, creamy risotto, teriyaki marinated ribeyes, homemade from scratch biscuits and gravy, and desserts a la flambe have all made appearances in recent years. This is not the typical family reunion with big buckets of KFC to say the least.
This year, one of the stars was my cousin Greg’s Spatchcock Chicken and that is what this recipe is based on. When you can successfully brine and Spatchcock Chicken for over a hundred people to rave reviews, you know you have mad kitchen skills.
The word Spatchcock is thought to be of Irish decent, and has been around since the late 1800s, and refers to splitting or butterflying poultry or game hens, usually along the spine. It’s a fantastic and easy technique to know as it helps the bird to roast quicker and more evenly then leaving it whole.
A Simple Chicken Brine is the other technique that guarantees a juicy and moist chicken.
To begin, select a 4-6 pound roasting chicken.
Brine the chicken for 4-5 hours using this Simple Chicken Brine.
Remove the chicken from the brine and rinse thoroughly.
Using sharp kitchen shears or scissors, cut a 1 inch wide strip on either side of the backbone of the chicken.
Flip the chicken over and press the breastbone like you are giving it CPR until the breast bone cracks and the chicken lays flat.
Pat dry and let the chicken rest at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. This will help the chicken to cook evenly and make sure that the bird is all the way dry which will help it to brown beautifully.
Smear both side of the chicken with a room temperature herb butter mixture and place the chicken breast side up on a cookie sheet. The chicken does needs to be all the way dry for the butter to stick to the skin and for the skin to properly brown.
Spread vegetables that have been drizzled with olive oil, thyme, coarse salt, and fresh cracked pepper around the chicken. Small potatoes, carrots, and larger mushrooms is a family favorite mixture that works well. A special note here. Vegetables will brown and cook better if they are not crowded. I like to use a second cookie sheet placed on the rack below the chicken while it is roasting for additional vegetables, depending on how many people being are being served.
Roast for 45-55 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until the interior temperature is 165 degrees. Let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
Tried this? I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below.
Herb Butter Spatchcock Chicken and Roasted Vegetables
- 4-6 pound roasting chicken
- 2 pounds small potatoes whole or cut in half
- 1 pound carrots cut into 1" pieces
- 8 ounces 1.5"- 2" mushrooms whole smaller mushrooms might overcook
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- kosher salt and freshed cracked pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup room temperature butter
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 1 clove garlic minced fine
- Brine the chicken for 4-5 hours using my Simple Chicken Brine. Brine recipe in Recipe Notes.
- Remove the chicken from the brine and rinse thoroughly.
- Using sharp kitchen shears or scissors, cut a 1 inch wide strip from the neck to the tail on either side of the backbone of the chicken.
- Flip the chicken over and press the breastbone flat until the breast bone cracks and the chicken lays flat.
- Pat dry and let the chicken rest at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix the herb butter ingredients together in a small mixing bowl.
- Smear both side of the chicken with the room temperature herb butter mixture and place the chicken breast side up on a cookie sheet. Thoroughly dry skin will help the herb butter adhere and will promote browning.
- Spread vegetables that have been drizzled with olive oil, thyme, coarse salt, and fresh cracked pepper in a single layer around the chicken. Vegetables will brown and cook better if they are not crowded. Use a second cookie sheet placed on the rack below the chicken while it is roasting if needed or for additional vegetables.
- Roast for 45-55 minutes until the interior temperature is 165 degrees. Let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.