Spatchcock Chicken with Potatoes, Asparagus and Lemon

Spatchcock chicken turns into a one-pan meal once you add roasted potatoes and asparagus.

Have you ever spatchcocked a chicken before? I know, it sounds like a fancy thing. But it really isn’t. All you’re doing is flattening the chicken out.

Why do it? Flattening the chicken makes it cook more quickly. That’s a great reason right there. But the way you do it results in more chicken skin being exposed while it’s cooking.

Why do you want this? The exposed surface means there’s more brown crispy skin to eat when you’re done cooking. And that equals more happiness.

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To spatchcock the chicken you use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut out the backbone. You’re going to flip the chicken over so that its breast side is down and then you’re going to cut all the way along one side of the backbone from the neck to the bottom and then again on the other side of the backbone. Flip the chicken so it’s breast-side-up again. Spread it out. You’ve essentially butterflied a whole chicken at this point. Then use the heel of your hand to squash it down all over so that it’s a uniform height. If you have no idea what I’m talking about (it’s easy though, I promise!), check out this video.

I wanted the spatchcock chicken to be a complete one-pan dinner. To do this you add some little potatoes to the pan with the chicken and some lemon slices.

Then for the last 20 minutes or so of roasting, add some asparagus. Everything will be done at the same time. Take the pan to the table and eat.

Another one-and-done chicken dinner that I’m sure you would love is this Baked Chicken with Tomatoes, Basil and Red Chillies. Everything cooks in one big pan and all the flavors blend together. It’s great for weeknights, but also so delicious that I make it for company all the time.

And now, back to that spatchcock chicken!

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Spatchcock Chicken with Potatoes, Asparagus and Lemon

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


How to make a spatchcock chicken meal with potatoes, asparagus and lemon all on one pan. It looks delicious coming out of then oven and tastes even better.


  • olive oil
  • 2 lemons, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • salt
  • coarse black pepper
  • a 4lb. chicken
  • 28 oz. small red potatoes (if any are larger than 1 and 1/2-inches, cut those ones in half)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Rub a large (18″x 13″) rimmed pan with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add the lemon slices in a single non-overlapping layer. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper.
  3. Take your chicken and flip it so that it’s breast-side-down. Locate the backbone. Using sharp kitchen shears, cut all along one side of the backbone (you’ll be going through some little ribs so press hard to cut). Then cut along the other side of the backbone, thus removing the backbone completely. Discard the backbone or save it for making stock.
  4. Open the chicken up so that it is one wide piece. Flip it breast-side-up. Push down on it all over with the palms of your hands to flatten it to a more even thickness.
  5. Transfer the chicken to the middle of the pan, lying it over some of the lemon slices. Sprinkle chicken lightly with salt and pepper.
  6. In a medium bowl toss together the potatoes with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, the thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of coarse pepper. Scatter the potatoes on the pan around the chicken. Put the pan into the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, put the asparagus into the bowl that the potatoes were in. Add 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Once the chicken and potatoes have roasted for 30 remove the pan from the oven and tuck the asparagus in around the potatoes and chicken. You want everything to still be in a single layer over the lemon slices. Put the pan back into the oven until an instant read thermometer placed into the middle of a breast and into the middle of a thigh reads 165°F, 20-30 minutes more. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.