I love a good Sunday roast and today I want to share a recipe for roasted spatchcock chicken perfectly cooked with a buttery sauce of herbs, garlic and lemon and roasted potatoes, leeks and carrots. It’s a hearty, nutritious dinner (or lunch) the whole family will love and it only takes about 1 hour or so.
Having lived in London for a long time, I have come to love Sunday roasts. It’s a beautiful tradition shared by friends and family who get together for lunch or early dinner at a local pub or someone’s home. I love all types of roasts but I can’t go past a yummy, juicy and crispy chicken with a side of veggies and sauce.
This roasted spatchcocked chicken recipe is has a French touch to it with sage and rosemary garlic butter sauce. Well, it’s actually the cooking juices that you end up with that have the butter in them, resulting in a perfect jus to serve with the meat and veg.
The name spatchcock chicken refers to the way the bird is cut open before cooking. To spatchcock a chicken, or butterfly it, is to remove the backbone, allowing it to be completely opened out and flattened. This reduces the cooking time and allows the whole chicken to be cooked in different, speedier ways, such as grilling or pan-frying. And obviously, it’s great for roasting too.
Another reason I like to roast spatchcocked chicken is that you can season and flavour the whole bird properly, inside and outside. Laying the flattened chicken on top of herbs, garlic and lemon allows the aromas to penetrate more of the meat.
How to spatchcock a chicken
If you’ve never butterflied a whole chicken, here is a handy video from BBC Food showing how to do it. Don’t worry about the metal skewers used in the end as they are not needed for this roasted recipe.
Juicy and fragrant, this spatchcocked chicken is roasted perfectly over buttery herbs, garlic and lemon together with leeks, carrots and potatoes. Full roast dinner in 1 hour, who doesn’t love that?
- 1 whole chicken (3.5 – 4lbs / 1.5-2kg), butterflied (see video above)
- 1.5 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons softened butter or ghee, divided (olive oil can also be used)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 bunch sage
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 lemon, sliced
For roasted vegetables
- 8 small potatoes
- 4 small carrots, cut into halves or quarters lengthways
- 2 leeks, cut into 2-3-inch long pieces (just the white and pale green parts, save the greens for a salad)
- 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Make the chicken.
- Preheat the oven to 220 C /425 F degrees.
- Rinse and pat dry the chicken, then place it on a cutting board breast side down. With kitchen shears, carefully cut from the neck down to the tail on both sides and cut out the back-bone (spine). Flip the bird over so it’s breast side up, then press firmly on the breast until you hear a crack and the chicken flattens. Tuck the wings back and season with half salt and pepper the open part of the chicken.
- Rub 1 tablespoon of the softened butter or ghee all over the chicken, then sprinkle the paprika powder evenly over the chicken and season with remaining salt and pepper. Carefully pat down the seasonings a bit.
- Place the sage, rosemary, garlic and lemon on a rimmed baking sheet or a cast iron pan and carefully lay the chicken on top, breast side up. Roast for 45-50 minutes or until the juices run clear when the chicken leg is pierced with a fork. Halfway through the cooking, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in small pats around the chicken and baste the meat with the juices from the pan.
Make the veggies.
- Once the chicken is in the oven, start on the veggies. Toss them in a big bowl with olive oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Add whole potatoes to the same tray as the chicken after 10 minutes in the oven. Roast for 30-40 minutes.
- Spread carrots and leeks on a separate flat baking tray. Pop in the oven (different shelf), after the chicken has been in the oven for 25 minutes. Roast for 20 minutes.
Finishing the dish.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Cover with foil or a towel and rest for 10 minutes. In the meantime, add the leeks and carrots to the tray/pan with the potatoes and stir them through the remaining buttery, herby roasting chicken juices. Leave in the oven for 10 more minutes, you can reduce the heat down to 180 C./ 355 F.
- Serve the chicken on top of the vegetables and the herby cooking juices. You can carve it into pieces beforehand. Serve with the juices scooped and poured on the chicken and vegetables.
- If you don’t have sage, use other herbs like thyme or marjoram. I used fresh rosemary and sage but you can use a few teaspoons of dried herbs as well.
- Sweet potatoes or pumpkin can be used instead of white spuds.
Photography by Skylinefree.
MORE CHICKEN RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE
- Roasted Chicken Thighs With Oregano & Garlic
- Baked Chicken Meatballs In Spiced Tomato Sauce
- Georgian Chicken Chkmeruli (Paleo, Dairy-Free)
- Whole Roast Chicken With Inside Out Stuffing (Paleo, Gluten-Free)
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