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.

Martha Stewart Living, October 2013


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

25 mins
1 hr
Serves 4 to 6


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


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


Reviews (6)

70 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 18
  • 4 star values: 15
  • 3 star values: 23
  • 2 star values: 8
  • 1 star values: 6
Rating: 5 stars
I'm amazed at how quickly this chicken cooked, and how crispy the toasts were. I've made a similar chicken on top of onion rings, but never on top of bread -- what a winner!
Rating: Unrated
This is a really nice recipe. One, parchment is a must, it will stick on a regular baking sheet. Second, use the right size chicken; and, cut it right. Don't try to make a bigger one. Third, the bread. Store bought wheat bread doesn't work. You want a hearty thick sourdough. Otherwise, soggy Fourth, preheated oven and high heat. Firth, do NOT over oil or butter. If you follow that, it comes out great. I did add several shallots rough chopped to my dish, which was really good. Delicious!!
Rating: 5 stars
OK, we use this recipe twice a month in the firehouse, 4-6 chickens on a sheet pan. This is Chicken 101, a spathcocked bird cooked at high heat, always done nicely in 35 minutes! We do both the bread, and the potatoes, use whatever you have laying around. Season as you wish, any herb or spiced salt combo you want, that is a big piece of meat, follow the quanities. OK WHAT MARTHA, can't say, let the meat warm, you cant stick a cold chicken in the oven! Use an upper rack, not the topmost racks.
Rating: Unrated
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.
Rating: Unrated
Fantastic recipe! One of the few recipes that truly pleases all five of my family members and they request me to make it frequently.
Rating: Unrated
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.