Roasted Spatchcocked chicken with vegetables is a beautiful dinner that is perfect for your Sunday supper or nightly meal. Although not a casserole, it has that appeal of an all-in-one dish that can impress a gathering of your friends or your family at a regular weeknight dinner.
Casseroles are one of those foods that feel truly American to me. They take me back to childhood. Do you have childhood memories of casseroles, too? Maybe a tuna casserole or green bean casserole? My mom would make this enchilada casserole that was AMAZING!
Anyways, one of the best things about a casserole was that everything you needed for dinner was in that one dish. These meals can be lifesavers when short on time or when you don’t want to spend an afternoon in the kitchen making several different courses. This roasted spatchcocked chicken with vegetables has the ease and convenience like a casserole, but seems more elegant.
What is a Spatchcocked chicken?
Are you asking yourself what the heck is spatchcocked chicken? Don’t worry. I did the same thing. I actually called this butterflied chicken at first until I realized it is better known as “spatchcocked” in the wise world of Google. A spatchcocked chicken is where you (yes, you J) have removed the backbone and cracked the breastbone to allow the “almost” whole chicken to lay flat while cooking.
Do you need to spatchcock your chicken?
You absolutely, positively do NOT need to spatchcock your chicken. If it seems daunting or something you simply don’t want to do, then use your whole bird instead. I must warn you that there are some advantages to the spatchcock method. Time!
Time is the biggest advantage of the spatchcocked approach. This recipe came about specifically due to lack of time as well as the need to adapt to a new cooking environment. My husband was sent to small town outside of Edinburgh, Scotland, called Falkirk and we went along with him. We stayed in an apartment (aka flat) that had a fully stocked kitchen, thankfully, so I was able to prepare meals rather than get take-out every night.
Marks & Spencer’s was just around the corner from our flat and the produce section was lovely. I could seriously wander aimlessly through grocery stores in another countries for hours looking at the different foods available. I was in my element!
Anyways, one of the first meals we planned to make was a simple roasted chicken and some veg. We got all the ingredients including a limited spice selection since all the apartment had was salt, pepper, and brown sauce. Yum! I picked whatever vegetables looked good at the time, which happened to be carrots, leeks (love them!), and yellow potatoes. Once back in our flat, I was short on time and working with a different oven.
Rather than break down the entire chicken, which still takes me forever to do, I opted for what I called butterflying at the time. YouTube to the rescue! After a search and quick tutorial on “How to spatchcock a chicken”, I performed the quickish procedure on my bird. It wasn’t pretty! I probably looked like some crazy misguided butcher while doing it, but it least it cooked faster and tasted good.
Honestly, I still don’t do the spatchocking very well. One day, when I am really really REALLY bored, I will buy a bunch of cheap chickens and practice. One day, that is! Until then, I continue to watch YouTube videos on Spatchcocking chickens and fumble through the steps. You should try it at least once. If you mess up, the ugly part will be underneath, anyways.
Besides the spatchcocked method, the other part that makes this recipe super tasty is the spiced butter I added to the bird. Remember, I based the initial recipe on my limited spice cabinet, but ended up keeping it the same because I enjoyed it so much. The spices and lemon zest make the butter very fragrant. As the bird heats up and cooks, the spiced butter melts into the meat and helps keep it moist as well. Then, the butter mixes with the flavorful meat drippings and takes the veggies to another level of yumminess! If you don’t have these spices, use what is in your cupboard and sounds good. It is your meal!
One last tidbit before I end this blog post. Depending on number of people at your dinner table, you may or may not have a good amount of leftovers. I adore leftovers and love finding new ways to incorporate them into future meals. My family gets something different, but I don’t have to spend as much time in the kitchen. Two of my favorite uses for leftover roasted chicken are Insant Pot chicken and rice or soups such as chicken tortilla soup.
Enjoy and cheers!
Roasted Spatchcocked Chicken with Vegetables
- 4 tbsp. butter room temp
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds
- 1 tsp. coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp. lemon zest or orange zest
- Salt & pepper
Chicken and vegetables
- Whole chicken
- 1 large leek sliced
- 1 lb. yellow potatoes cut in half
- 4 large carrots sliced in large chunks
- 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 425F
- Make compound butter. Lightly toast the fennel and coriander seeds in pan until fragrant. About 60 seconds. Let seeds cool.
- In small bowl, combine softened butter, seeds, zest, salt and pepper. You can use butter immediately or store in fridge wrapped in parchment paper.
- In large roasting pan toss carrots, leeks, and potatoes in olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper.
- Spatchock your chicken. Using kitchen shears cut along the backbone on either side and remove. Flip chicken over and use palm of hand to push into breastbone. Press until it cracks and the chicken flattens out. You can opt for whole chicken.
- Place chicken on top of vegetables in roasting pan. Using your fingers, gently lift skin away from meat and put in some compound butter. Repeat the same process all over the chicken. You can use a knife to make small opening in skin if there is not one already. You can sprinkle bits of any remaining butter over vegetables.
- Season outside of chicken with salt and pepper.
- Roast in oven until chicken is done and vegetables are fork tender. Time will vary based on oven. In my oven it took about 75 minutes.