Grilled Lemon & Herb “spatchcock” Chicken (start off the summer right)

July 1, 2015


“Spatchcocking a chicken, that is, removing the backbone and ribcage so it can be opened up flat, allows the whole bird to cook more quickly and to make better contact with the grill, resulting in a crisp skin and juicy meat. It’s actually quite a simple procedure, easily accomplished with poultry shears. I marinate the chicken with lemon, garlic, olive oil and fresh herbs from my garden. I then grill with a grill press or foil covered brick over charcoal. It is amazing, and a perfect idea for the holiday weekend! Always use organic free range chicken. Keep it  fresh…simple… and significant!  Enjoy! ”  Britt


IMG_0083These are my favorite herbs to use … thyme, rosemary, and parsley. They add so much flavor to the marinade. Also these are very easy herbs to grow in your garden or in a container.


Next here are the steps to spatchcocking the chicken …

Step 1:


Starting with a clean chicken cut the backbone out of the chicken. I find a kitchen shears works very well for this. Simply cut down each side of the backbone with the shears and remove. (The backbone  can be kept to use for making homemade chicken stock.)


Step 2:

lemon chicken

Now using the kitchen shears cut about an inch down the center of the breast bone. This will allow the chicken to lay flat.


Step 3:

lemon chicken 2Finally flip the chicken over and flatten it as shown. You now have a spatchcock chicken.


R e c i p e:

1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken
Kosher salt and pepper
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (1 lemon)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper on each side. Combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and parsley in a small bowl. Place the chicken in a ceramic or glass dish just large enough to hold it flat. Pour the lemon marinade over the chicken, turning it in the dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Turn the chicken 2 or 3 times while marinating.

When ready to grill, prepare a hot charcoal fire on 1 side of a grill (or turn a gas grill on low heat). Spread 1/4 of the coals across the other side of the grill. Place the chicken on the cooler side, skin side up, and weigh it down with a grill press or a brick covered in foil. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the underside is golden brown. Turn the chicken skin side down, weight again, and cook for another 12 to 15 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through.Remove the chicken to a plate or cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. then serve. Enjoy!

grilled lemon& herb chicken


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  • Reply Michael Coronado July 2, 2015 at 5:09 am

    Looks great! I cook chicken quite a bit with lemon and many of the seasonings….garlic, and onion for me are also winners. Great looking recipe. Good luck with the new venture! I am sure it will rock..

  • Reply Eric July 2, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Are you ironing this chicken like you iron your dresses? 😉
    These herbs you used, we call them in France “Herbes de provence”. For us it’s sounds like south, sun and vacations, a pure delight.
    So yes, it definitively looks great, and tasty!

  • Reply Ben Tupman July 2, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Hey Brit! This would be great if you had a video showing us how to do it in a live action video. Let me know! I’d love to help you with that!

    • BrittWilcox
      Reply BrittWilcox July 2, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      Thanks Ben, right now I am in California, but I will let you know when I am home! Thanks so much for all your kind words! Britt

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