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how to spatchcock a chicken

How to Spatchcock a Chicken (Video)

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Learn how to spatchcock a chicken! An easy technique, and  a delicious one-pan meal perfect for cozy fall nights. The drippings from the chicken infuse the cauliflower steaks with goodness and flavor! With a video!


Units Scale
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic – whole
  • small handful savory herbs- sage, thyme or rosemary
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 whole Chicken- Spatchcocked (butterflied)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1/2 cup whole grain mustard or a mix of whole grain and dijon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch salt
  • 1 whole Chicken- Spatchcocked (butterflied)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Slice cauliflower into “steaks” about ½ inch -¾ inch thick, green parts and all. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet with a rim. Scatter sliced onions, whole garlic cloves and sprigs of herbs over top.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a very light drizzle of olive oil
  4. In a small bowl, mix mustard and oil and a pinch of salt.
  5. Spatchcock  the chicken (see the video). Place the chicken on a cutting board, backside up, breast bone down. Using sturdy kitchen scissors, cut along each side of the backbone, removing it, saving it for stock.
  6. Open the chicken up like a book, find the lower tip of the breast bone, and slice the flesh open at that point, so the tip can protrude out.
  7. Turn the chicken over, spread apart, press down hard on the breast bone with the heel of your hand, to flatten.
  8. Sprinkle the inside and outside generously with salt and pepper. Place the chicken, breast side up, over the cauliflower, pushing down to make it relatively flat.
  9. Brush or rub the skin side of the chicken with the mustard marinade ( saving 1-2 tablespoons for basting) getting all the nooks and crannies. Place it is flat as you can, opened up, over the cauliflower, pressing breast down one more time.
  10. Place in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes. Baste with the remaining mustard, and If there are pan juices ( there may not be yet) spoon some over the cauliflower, and bake for another 10-20 more minutes until cooked through.Bake until thigh at the thickest part reaches 170 F or juices run clear.
  11. Pull it out of the oven, and when you tilt the pan, you will see clear pan juices- spoon this flavorful juice over the exposed cauliflower. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting.


The leftover chicken will keep up to 5 days in the fridge. Use the carcass or bones to make flavorful chicken broth.


  • Serving Size: 6 ounce piece chicken (skin-on) w/ cauliflower
  • Calories: 453
  • Sugar: 5.5 g
  • Sodium: 445.3 mg
  • Fat: 26.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 15.5 g
  • Fiber: 5.2 g
  • Protein: 40.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 149.2 mg