Lemon and Herb Spatchcock Chicken Lemon and Herb Spatchcock Chicken

Food styling by Ashley Denton | Prop styling by Laura Branson Image by: Jeff Coulson

Flattening (a.k.a. spatchcocking) a whole chicken makes it easier to carve and helps it cook quickly and evenly throughout. Once you become comfortable with this method, customize the recipe by switching up the herbs and seasoning.

  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Total time 1 hour & 30 minutes
  • Portion size 6 servings



In small bowl, stir together lemon zest, parsley, half of the oil, the garlic, thyme, tarragon, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Using kitchen shears, cut chicken along each side of backbone; discard backbone. Turn chicken, breast side up; press firmly on breastbone to flatten.

Gently loosen skin from breast meat, being careful not to tear skin. Spread lemon zest mixture under skin, covering breast and legs evenly. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

Set foil drip pan under 1 rack of 2-burner barbecue or under centre rack of 3-burner barbecue. Heat remaining burner(s) to medium-high heat (about 375°F/190°C). Brush skin side of chicken with remaining oil. Place, skin side up, on greased grill over drip pan; close lid and grill, turning once, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced and instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 185°F (85°C), about 1 hour.

Remove to cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Tip from The Test Kitchen:
Barbecue temperatures can vary, so place an oven thermometer in your grill and adjust the heat as needed to reach the desired temperature.

Nutritional facts per each of 6 servings: about

  • Sodium 209 mg
  • Protein 38 g
  • Calories 371.0
  • Total fat 23 g
  • Potassium 319 mg
  • Cholesterol 121 mg
  • Saturated fat 6 g
  • Total carbohydrate 1 g


  • Iron 14.0
  • Folate 4.0
  • Calcium 2.0
  • Vitamin A 7.0
  • Vitamin C 3.0
Share X
Lunch & Dinner

Lemon and Herb Spatchcock Chicken