Rosemary Orange Spatchcock Chicken

This Rosemary-Orange Spatchcock Chicken is coated with an orange zest butter, yielding a rich and decadent roasted bird full of citrus herby notes - a delicious winter citrus twist. Roasted spatchcock chicken easier to prepare that a whole roasted chicken and is your answer when you want a delicious, flavorful roast chicken cooked in under an hour. The delicious flavors of orange and rosemary make this a big family favorite dinner! Whether you’re making a glamorous, white table dinner with friends or a home-cooked family meal, this recipe will soon be on your go-to list for dinner. You can pair this chicken with my favourite Crispy Greek Style Lemony Smashed Potatoes, or my very Creamy Scalloped Potatoes, my Easy No Fail Melting Potatoes are also always a winner as is my Simple Creamy Mashed Potatoes. A simple salad on the side and some crusty bread also works.

Rosemary Orange Spatchcock Chicken

Why you will love this spatchcock chicken recipe:

  • An easy method to master
  • Produces and even seasoned and even cooked roasted whole chicken
  • One of the quickest ways to roast a whole chicken
  • This recipe only requires 5 main ingredients- Minimal ingredients- minimal effort maximum flavour

This beautiful recipe comes to us via The very talented Rebecca White - and when I say talented I mean talented.  A food blogger, recipe developer, food photographer and food writer who has created content for publications and food media outlets throughout the world. This recipe comes from Rebecca’s book The Ultimate 5-Ingredient Cookbook - Whole Foods Flavorful meals Made Simple. She is the founder of A pleasant Little Kitchen  and I love the first line in her book ‘Good food is a refuge found in pleasant kitchens’ - so true and good food doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact as Rebecca mentions minimal ingredient cooking is one of the most important skills to have - it’s a foundation to build on. That is what her book provides and does it beautifully with her simple and yet flavourful and delicious dishes requiring only 5 ingredients. My kind of book - I love simple recipes and to create a book of fantastic ones with minimal ingredients requires skill, talent and imagination and that is definitely Rebecca. The book is full of well written easy to follow recipes with techniques and methodologies well explained. It was hard to choose which recipe to share, but a good roasted chicken is always a win for my family and thought it would be for yours too so I chose this simple spatchcock chicken with my favourite citrusy herby notes. I know you guys will love it! Thanks for letting me share a small sampling of your book Rebecca!!

Rosemary Orange Spatchcock Chicken

How to spatchcock a chicken

If you’ve never spatchcocked chicken before, I’m here to tell you that this is probably the best way to roast a whole chicken, plus it looks really spectacular. Its that one technique that everyone should know in the video I show you how to easily make spatchcock chicken by using a pair of sharp kitchen shears to cut the back bone. Spatchcocking vs roasting whole chicken:  Spatchcocking produces really juicy chicken. To spatchcock or butterfly chicken, we remove the spine, flatten the chicken and spread it out so that it lays flat, breast-side up. This brings the thighs on the same height as the breasts, exposing them to a higher heat and basically cooking them slightly faster. This keeps the thighs juicy and prevents chicken breasts from drying out.

Rosemary-Orange Spatchcock Chicken Ingredients:

  • Orange juice and zest - freshly Squeezed orange juice is always best - this would be great with lemons too
  • 1 whole chicken - you are going to love the way it roasts up spatchcocked
  • Fresh Rosemary - feel free to substitute with fresh thyme or sage or oregano or a combination of your favourite herbs
  • Onion - you could also use shallots too
  • Chicken stock - homemade or store bought are both fine here
  • Panty items: olive oil, butter, salt

Rosemary Orange Spatchcock Chicken

More chicken recipes you will love:

This recipe is from The Ultimate 5-Ingredient Cookbook - Whole Foods Flavorful meals Made Simple by Rebecca White shared with her permission. It’s found on page 12 of her book.

Rosemary Orange Spatchcock Chicken


Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 35-40 mins


  • 2 oranges, zest and juice
  • 2 tbsp (28 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1¼ tsp (8 g) kosher salt, divided
  • 3½ lb (1.6 kg) spatchcock chicken
  • 7 rosemary sprigs, divided
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and cut into large chunks (or 2 shallots)
  • ½ cup (120 ml) low-sodium
  • chicken stock


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F (232°C).
  2. After zesting both oranges, juice one orange, yielding about ½ cup (120 m) of juice, then slice the other orange into wedges. Set the juice and the orange wedges aside.
  3. Combine the orange zest and the butter. Stir and set aside.
  4. Using 2 tablespoons (28 g) of the orange zest butter and 1 teaspoon of the salt, evenly coat the outside and under the skin of the chicken.
  5. While the chicken skin is peeled back, place 4 rosemary sprigs (1 for each breast, and 1 for each leg and thigh) on top of the chicken meat. Pull the skin over the rosemary and set aside.
  6. Place the oil and onion into a large cast-iron skillet. Warm over medium-high heat and cook the onion for 3 minutes, or until it is slightly softened and coated with a layer of pan juices. Push the onion to the perimeter of the skillet and add the chicken, breast side facing down. Cook for 2½ minutes, then flip the chicken.
  7. Add the orange slices and the remaining 3 sprigs of rosemary to the skillet. Cook for 2½ minutes.
  8. Place the skillet into the oven. Roast for 30 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160°F to 165°F (71°C to 74°C).
  9. Remove the skillet from the oven, place the chicken onto a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.
  10. Return the skillet back to the cooktop and warm over medium-high heat. Add the chicken stock, orange juice and ¼ teaspoon of the salt to the skillet and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 10 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Remove from heat. Slice the chicken and serve with the pan sauce.

Recipe Notes

  • Remember to zest the oranges before juicing. If ½ cup (120 ml) of juice cannot be extracted from the oranges, that’s okay. Extract as much as you can.
  • To salt the chicken under the skin, the skin will need to be partially detached from the meat. Grab an edge of the skin and lift slightly. This should expose a small area where the skin is still attached to the meat. Using a knife, gently make a couple of small slices through this area. Using your finger, gently separate the meat and skin. Peel the skin back, being careful to not completely remove the skin from the chicken meat. Salt the exposed meat and return the peeled-back skin to its original position.

Rosemary Orange Spatchcock Chicken