How to Cook a Perfect Roast a Chicken (Spatchcock it!)

Spatchcocking is the fastest, easiest, best way to roast a chicken. More details here:

Serves 4 to 6

Adding baking powder to the salt for the chicken skin will give you extra crispy results.


1 large chicken, about 4 to 5 pounds
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder (optional)(see note above)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, rosemary, oregano, marjoram, savory, or a mix (optional)
1 medium onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium stalk celery, roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry vermouth or sherry
1 teaspoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon


1. Set oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 500°F. Using sharp kitchen shears, remove spine from chicken and cut spine into five to six 1-inch long pieces. Set spine aside. Flatten chicken by placing flat skin side up on cutting board and applying firm pressure to breast bone. Transfer to a wire rack set in a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Position chicken so that breasts are aligned with center of baking sheet and legs are close to edge.

2. Drizzle chicken with 1 tablespoon oil. Combine 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1 teaspoon baking powder (if using) in a small bowl. Sprinkle all over chicken. Sprinkle chicken with mixed herbs. Rub chicken to distribute season evenly all over the skin.

3. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Roast until thickest part of breast close to bone registers 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer and joint between thighs and body registers at least 170°F, about 45 minutes, reducing the heat to 450°F if the chicken starts to darken too quickly.

4. Meanwhile, heat remaining tablespoon oil in small saucepan over high heat until shimmering. Add chicken spine and cook, stirring frequently, until well browned, about 3 minutes. Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add bay leaf and deglaze with vermouth or sherry and 1 cup water, using wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Reduce heat to maintain simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Strain out solids and return liquid to pan. Boil over medium-high heat until approximately 1/3 cup remains, about 7 minutes. Whisk in soy sauce, butter, and lemon juice off heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Remove chicken from oven, transfer to cutting board, tent loosely with foil, and allow to rest five minutes before carving. Serve with hot jus.



  • One big tip when doing this is you'll need a good set of kitchen shears, especially if doing this with a turkey. The first thanksgiving I tried spatchcocking a huge turkey and I didn't have kitchen shears. Scissors definitely do not work, I had to get tin snips from the garage.

    MauiWowieOwie 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Thanks for showing us how to spatchcock a chicken. I am a cook with scattered background and needed this!

    Piale 36 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Excellently done. Simple, to the point, and very nicely video-graphed! Been wanting to do this. Thank you.

    Garland Style 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Kenji you the man! I always come to you when I need to cook something.

    Cory Bee 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Never roasted a chicken in my life (or spatchcocked) and was pretty intimidated, tbh. Can’t believe how easy you made it seem in this short video! Love the content always, Kenji. Thank you!!!

    Now I’m going to look for your easy baked salmon recipe, which I’m sure you have.

    Julius D. 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • This is the second time I roasted a spatchcocked chicken and smoke fills the oven and kitchen from all the splashing fat. What should I do?

    rdg515 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Man said 150°?!.. NAH. Cook to 162° pull, let rest for 10-15 minutes, and the carryover should bring it to 165° where it should be.

    Westside_ Kratos 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • This is the only/best way to roast a chicken! The only problem I have is that the fat drops to the bottom of the pan and creates lots of smoke. Any ideas on how to stop this?

    S. Kyle Johnson 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • wrong. spatchcock the chicken. cook at 180c for 25min. then bbq it till its done on medium hot coals.

    Mike Hunt 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • I did one last year that makes me laugh every time I think about it. Rather it was my wife's reaction to it. I took my herbs and spices and mixed them in room temperature butter and then put that under the skin of the bird. Afterwards I poked holes in the meat and skin. Before placing it in the oven I placed it on a rack. I also took the spine and put it under the bird. Well, my wife ate more of it than I did and she had her doubts about how it would turn out. After I sliced it I thought I had hidden the spine but I was wrong. I had wanted it myself and when I went for it my wife had eaten it.😂 I asked her about it and she just smiled and asked me what was I talking about.

    Sometimes I'll take a half cup to a cup of Cabernet Sauvignon along with a cup of water and pour into the pan and use it to baste the bird. The mixed juices I'll use later in my roux for my gravy or just serve as is. When I was medically retired some people thought I was lost in the kitchen since I drove for a living. My grandmother cooked for a living and she was my first cooking instructor when we were in elementary school. And don't be afraid to try different combinations of herbs and spices.

    DoNot Need 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Didn't warn us that it makes an absolute mess of my oven. and smokey kitchen.

    Wendy Cash 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Will try this. My chicken always comes out unevenly cooked when roasting it whole. Like the top part crisps, but then the bottom part and the wins come off mushy. Even when I put it on top of vegetables. Anyone else experience this problem?

    M 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Great recipe and good video we did one on our channel cheers from metal Chopping Block

    Metal Chopping Block 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Tried this tonight. Perfectly juicy. I will never cook a whole bird the old-fashioned way again. I also did the au jus reduction with my own twist on it. Perfect. Thanks for this.

    Rod Toler 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Tip: do NOT add the giblets (specifically the liver) when making the sauce, or it will STINK.

    Jason Cazes 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Kenji. You’re my favorite foodie you tube channel.
    I’ve learned a LOT from you, so thank you for your generosity. Not sure if you’ll see this since the post is so old.

    Puzzlement: chicken temps.
    I roasted a whole chicken (spatchcocked and dry brined,) per your advice.. At the appropriate time, I checked the temp with my Lava Tools Javelin Pro, and it read 170. I was careful to not hit bone or pan. But the juices were still pink and the joints not loose. Hmmm.
    So I cooked it longer.
    Finally took it out when it read 190, and I swear it could have cooked longer. Meat was marginally pink, not separating from the bone.

    This happened again on a sheet pan recipe. Bone-in thighs at 400 for 40 minutes. They looked right but temp said 192! Again careful about where I put the probe and tested twice in different locations. I let them rest for 10” and when I cut in, they were moist and juicy.

    What is going on? I’m a scientist. I believe in basic principles. 165 should be on the edge of drying out. 190 should be a disaster.

    I don’t understand.

    Nancy Moore 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • I have to add water to the pan otherwise I get a smoke show! Delicious as always.

    MegaZoobs 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Why go so far to have crispy skin if you're gonna douse it with all that sauce?

    Uros Marjanovic 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • 150F? you mean 160F

    Leo Lll 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Damn so young.

    The Yellow Cursor 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Is the gravy with sweet vermouth?

    cbtolenpork 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Did you just recommend people eat 150 degree chicken breast?…..uh how about fucking no

    curly dude 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • I will be spatchcocking my chicken 😋👍

    Pluto 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Nicely done. I happened on this after discovering the searing hot cast skillet method. That works for me but this looks great as well.

    keisreeman 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • There is something for everyone on Woodprix website.

    Romaine Athey 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Could/would have been much better if you had incorporated those vegetables used in the gravy imo…

    James Williams 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • It's the best! I do this with Thanksgiving turkey too

    Amber Cunningham 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Fahrenheit is so much ouch…… However, this method is good!

    Doc Aloha 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • "Such as parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme."

    Surely that's an intentional Simon and Garfunkel reference right?

    Who Knows 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • What did you do with the veggies?

    justonemorecast 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Classic kenji

    Bot Or Die 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • You can remain anonymous but leave a like if you giggled at "spatchcock" if you're really bold you'll leave a comment.

    always facts never 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • I would just warn anyone roasting chicken at that temp to be prepared for lots of smoke. I get a smoky oven at 450.

    da2nerboy 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • In the roast potatoes video he explains that you flavor the oil as to not burn the herbs. Wouldn't that be the way to go here aswell?

    chew chew train 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • You going to Scarborough Fair J-KL-A?

    metalmaniac2261 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • That’s a really hot oven. 500 degrees is the highest I have seen. Have you experimented with that?

    Mark S 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Ahhhh! I cooked my breasts last night to 165! That’s why it was dry!

    Mark S 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • I used this technique yesterday for our non-tradtional Thanksgiving chicken dinner, and it came out very tasty. Thank you

    Nivi Bash 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Oh I know how to “Spatchcock it altight😉”

    Johnny Apple Tree 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Jesus loves you

    Rachel Monroe 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • Great recipe! I loved your podcast in Freakeconomics

    Jennifer Ordonez 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • simon and garfunkel anyone?

    Gonzalo 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • I love spatchcocking chicken, but I prefer to salt it at least 12 hours ahead of time, also I separate the skin from the meat and put some softened butter mixed with pepper and herbs in the gap between to season the meat and not just the skin. I have always cooked at 400 the whole time, but I might try 500 next time.

    Jab136 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • 500 degrees?? no it doesn't make sense. the bones will barely start to cook while the outer meat might get dry

    heberildo 18/10/2022 am12:44
  • 👎 This isn't the 1st time I've spatchcocked a chicken, but, it is the 1st time at 500F with convection. If you decide to try this, make the jus ahead of time so that the bird isn't cold before the jus is ready and roast the chicken on the center rack at 425F. I made the mistake of following his directions. I roasted a 4 lb room-temp bird at 500F, using convection for the 1st 20 minutes. Fat coated the entire oven. After 45 minutes, the kitchen was filled with smoke… The skin-side looked good and its internal temp was fine. But the underside was undercooked. I flipped the chicken skin-side down to finish it. Tomorrow, I'll use the self-cleaning mode and fill the kitchen with smoke yet again.

    QuaranTina aka Lillian 18/10/2022 am12:44