Spatchcock Chicken with Tomatoes, Garlic and Fresh Basil

April 13, 2011


With a name like Spatchcock Chicken, how can you not want to make it! If for no other reason than to see the look on your family’s faces when you tell them what it is! OK, so, I don’t know. . . . maybe I’m the only one who gets a kick out of it. I do, so, there. Let me just tell you though, this chicken is more than just a funny name . . . . . dare I say, this is the best roast chicken you will ever have . . . and, it’s super easy! Spatchcock actually refers to the method of preparing the chicken . . . . . it’s basically butterflied so that it cooks faster and even. Besides a sharp pair of kitchen scissors, here’s what you’re gonna need:


1 5# whole chicken

16 oz. grape tomatoes

1 head unpeeled garlic, broken apart

drizzle of olive oil

kosher salt & fresh ground pepper

3/4 cup chicken broth

fresh basil leaves

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Now, gather up all your ingredients. And for those who are still wondering if there are actually special scissors for the kitchen. . . . . maybe this is not the recipe for you. And that’s OK, there’s a butt for every saddle. Be who you are and be proud! Alrighty, I found a great website that has step by step pictures of exactly how this thing is done, Cookthink. So, click on that and follow the instructions for spatchcocking a chicken. Don’t be intimidated, you can do this! When that’s done you just want to wash your chicken, cold water, no soap. I’m not sure just how much instruction to give here. .. . . . dry it, with paper towels, and then season it well with salt and pepper. Lay it down, breast up, legs kind of crossed – looks very lady-like that way – and then surround it with the tomatoes and the garlic cloves. Now drizzle with some olive oil, about a tablespoon, rub it all over the chicken (side that’s up). Pour the chicken broth in the pan surrounding the chicken.


This is gonna take about 30 – 40 minutes, we’re going for 180 degrees. If you have a meat thermometer  that can go in the oven, pop in in the thigh, but don’t let it touch the bone. If you don’t have a thermometer (and no, the one in the bathroom will not work) then just let it go for 30 minutes and check it. Do the leg wiggle test. . . . wiggle the leg and if it seems loose and relaxed, it’s good to go. Before you pull it out of the oven switch over to broil and let it get nice and golden, about 3 minutes. Let it rest for about 10 minutes and then arrange the basil decoratively . . . . That’s it. Super easy and amazingly yummy. Enjoy, and please let me know if you do this. . . . . cuz honestly, I may need a spatchcock support group.


6 Responses to “Spatchcock Chicken with Tomatoes, Garlic and Fresh Basil”

  1. Lynnette Gamenara said

    Please add me to your food/cooking blog. Sounds great.

    • Hi Lynnette – Please just click on the “subscribe” link at the top of the blog and you will receive notification of all posts! Thanks so much!

      • Actually Lynette, go to “About” above the picture of the sink on the home page. .. . . scroll down and you’ll see a box, subscribe to this by email. . . . click it and make sure your info is there. Thanks! Still investigating a cookbook site!

  2. Chris Mentink said

    I’m subscribing so I can look forward to what’s for dinner.

  3. Leslie Hall said

    Tried it Susan. I’m an animal lover and only eat humane meat so I had some difficulty cutting the chicken and hearing the bones break. After my trauma though, it looked great and the chicken cooked perfectly and was juicy. I added very little basil but threw in some fresh spinach and I personally loved the tomatoes, my family didn’t care for the texture, but what do they know, right!

    Very good, I’d make it again (might have someone else cut the chicken).

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