Recipe Categories





Eggs & Cheese


Pasta & Grains





Salad Dressings





This wonderful recipe is from Everyday Dorie:The Way I Cook by Dorie Greenspan.

The leftover garlic, chicken and au jus makes a fabulous Chicken Dip Sandwich. 

Spatchcocked Chicken

Even if the word “spatchcocked” weren’t as much fun to say as it is, the dish that it describes would be a favorite: a butterflied chicken, flattened and cooked quickly — a spatchcocked bird cooks in less time than chicken “in the round,” and every inch of its skin is crispy, every morsel of its meat juicy. In this recipe, the meat is especially juicy because it’s self-basting: You slip seasoned butter under the skin, and it works its way into the bird as it roasts. The choices for how to season the bird are myriad. I mash the butter with za’atar, cumin, sumac and coriander, but if you fall in love with the technique, you can put it in rotation and fiddle with the flavors each time. You could just roast the butter-basted bird as is, but I prefer to roast some garlic, onion and herbs along with it — under it, actually — and to pour some wine and broth into the pan too. The aromatics and liquid do two good things: They add more flavor and fragrance to the dish, and they combine to make a delicious pour-over sauce at serving. Make sure to hold on to the garlic that you tucked under the chicken — the cloves will be soft, sweet, spreadable and luscious swiped across a piece of rough country bread or baguette. .


1 chicken, 3 to 4 pounds (1½ to 1¾ kg) 

4 tablespoons (2 ounces; 57 grams) unsalted butter, softened 

1 teaspoon za’atar or dried oregano (crumble it between your fingertips after measuring) 

¾ teaspoon ground cumin 

¾ teaspoon ground sumac or finely grated zest of 1 lemon 

½ teaspoon ground coriander 

Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper 

1 head garlic, cut horizontally in half 

1 small onion, sliced, rinsed and patted dry

 A few sprigs fresh herbs, such as thyme, oregano, rosemary and/or parsley 

¾ cup (180 ml) chicken broth 

¼ cup (60 ml) white wine 

Country bread, for serving (optional)  



Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 425 degrees F. Choose a large cast-iron skillet, a 9-by-13-inch roasting pan or a small baking sheet. You want a pan that will hold the chicken snugly and have sides high enough to contain the broth, wine and cooking juices. 

Cut down along either side of the chicken’s backbone to remove it — you can do this with poultry shears or a knife; discard the backbone. Pull on either side of the bird to open it out and then, using the heel of your hand, press down on the breastbone to flatten the chicken as much as you can. If the breastbone cracks, that’s fine. There! You’ve spatchcocked the bird. 

Put the butter in a small bowl and add the za’atar or crumbled oregano, cumin, sumac or zest, coriander, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Mash the ingredients together until well blended. Turn the chicken skin side up and carefully work your fingers under the skin. It’s easiest to loosen the skin from the meat if you start at the neck and work your fingers down and along the breast (work on one side and then the other), then work from the bottom of the chicken to wiggle your way along the thighs and legs. Work three-quarters of the butter between the skin and meat in the same way. Don’t worry about getting an even layer; once you’ve got dabs of butter here and there, you can massage the skin to smooth them out. And don’t fuss over getting everything just so — when the butter melts, it’ll cover the chicken. 

Pat the chicken dry and rub the remaining butter over the skin. Put the garlic and onion in the center of whatever pan you’ve chosen, season with salt and pepper and top with the herbs. Arrange the chicken over these ingredients, then pour the broth and wine around it. Roast for 45 to 60 minutes — the time depends on your bird — until the chicken is golden brown and the juices run clear when you prick a thigh. (An instant-read thermometer poked into a thigh should read 165 degrees F.) 

Transfer the chicken to a board and cut it into quarters. If you’ve roasted the bird in a skillet, it’s nice to return the pieces to the pan and bring the whole thing to the table for a very casual grab, dip and dunk dinner. Otherwise, put the chicken on a platter and pour the cooking juices into a serving pitcher. Either mash the garlic cloves and serve them as a spread instead of butter for the bread, if you’re using it, or place the garlic halves alongside the chicken and encourage everyone to squeeze the roasted garlic onto the bread or chicken. 

Storing: The chicken is best served soon after it comes out of the oven, but leftovers make great salads or sandwiches — no surprise there. Choices: If you want to, use a roasting pan and add a few cut-up pieces of fennel, celery and carrots and/or some small potatoes to cook along with the chicken. 

Tarragon Spatchcocked Chicken Mash the butter with 2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon, the grated zest of 1 lemon, about ½ teaspoon fine sea salt and some pepper. Work this under the chicken’s skin.