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Spatchcocked Chicken on Bread With Herbs and Lemon

Spatchcocking a chicken means scissoring it down the back (we leave the meaty backbone attached) and then flattening it. Smear it with butter, season with chunky sea salt, and place it on a platform of bread to absorb the juices for the fastest, easiest no-waste roasted chicken ever. While it's still hot, scatter fresh herbs over it and squeeze on some lemon juice for a fresh sauce that basically makes itself.

  • prep: 25 mins
    total time: 1 hour
  • servings: 6
Photography: Marcus Nilsson




  • 1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chunky sea salt
  • 6 slices rustic bread (from about 1/2 loaf), 3/4 inch thick
  • 1 cup fresh Thai or regular basil leaves
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 lemon, halved

Cook's Note

Flavor Swap: Add paprika and minced garlic with the salt. Use sliced potatoes instead of bread.


  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut chicken along backbone on 1 side with kitchen shears and open it like a book. Turn over and press to lay flat. Slather with 2 tablespoons butter; season all over with salt.

  2. Step 2

    Spread remaining tablespoon butter on 1 side of bread slices. Place side by side, buttered side up, on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and lay chicken on top. Roast until chicken is golden brown and a thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast (do not touch bone) reaches 160 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    Remove chicken from oven; let rest on baking sheet 10 minutes. Scatter with herbs; squeeze lemon juice over chicken. Cut chicken and bread into serving pieces; place on a platter. Pour pan juices over chicken and serve.

Martha Stewart Living, October 2013



Reviews (3)

  • 13 Feb, 2014

    Love this recipe, though I usually make it with potatoes instead of bread. It does take longer to cook than stated in the recipe but it's delicious...I've made it many times.

  • 4 Nov, 2013

    Fantastic recipe! One of the few recipes that truly pleases all five of my family members and they request me to make it frequently.

  • 28 Oct, 2013

    HORRIBLE!!! I followed this recipe to a T and it did not work at all. Even after an hour at 425 degrees, the chicken was raw inside, the bread stuck and burned to the pan but was covered in chicken juice so the top was soggy. Awful!
    The pan needs to be well oiled and the bread should not be cooked with the chicken.