Cast Iron Skillet Spatchcocked Chicken

spatchcocked chicken

Some time in the last year or so, the concept of spatchcocking your chicken or turkey (think of butterflying a pork chop) has taken off. Why? Just like the Instapot craze, spatchcocking turns whole food ingredients into dinner in a fraction of the time more tried and true methods take. In the case of spatchcocking, it’s easier than roasting your chicken — and the end result is tastier. We’ve tried it twice at our house and can see no downside. The chicken turns out moist on the inside, crispy on the outside and has been devoured by all. Since we buy most of our chicken from local farms and they come as whole chickens, not parts, this recipe is a life saver. Even if you’re getting your birds from the grocery store, spatchcocking them is an affordable, nutritious and done-in-45-minutes meal. That’s hard to beat.

Recipe adapted from (Check out this super helpful video on how to spatchcock.)

Serves 4-6


  • 1 whole 3-4 pound chicken (local if you can get it)
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground Hungarian paprika
  • 4-6 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 whole lemons, quartered
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 500°F.
  2. Place chicken, breast side down on a clean work surface. Starting at the thigh end, cut along one side of the backbone with sharp kitchen scissors.
  3. Turn chicken around. Cut along the other side of backbone. Discard backbone or freeze it to make stock later.
  4. Flip the chicken over. Place chicken (breast side up) in large cast iron skillet (or roasting pan). Press firmly on the breast bone to flatten the chicken out.
  5. Sprinkle salt, pepper and paprika over the top of the chicken. Take garlic cloves and smash with side of knife. Place in skillet with chicken.
  6. Pierce cherry tomatoes with knife tip. Add to skillet. Place lemon quarters around chicken in skillet, as well.
  7. Drizzle oil atop tomatoes. Pour wine and water into skillet.
  8. Roast chicken until juices run clear when pierced between breast and leg (an instant-read thermometer should read 165°F when inserted into thickest part of a thigh, avoiding bone), about 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool 5 minutes before carving.
  9. Pour juices from the skillet into a sauce pan and boil for 1 minute. Plate chicken and tomatoes. Drizzle sauce atop it. Serve with roasted potatoes or rice.