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Why Spatchcock a Chicken?


September and the pace ramps up with Zoom meetings, children’s activities whether being schooled on Zoom or in the classroom, and we in the Midwest also start preparing for winter.  Add Covid19, and the logistics of planning one more task defeats me.

Bringing me to Spatchcocked Roasted Chicken with Mustard Vinaigrette!

I am roasting Spatchcocked Chickens in September because the process and the exceptional flavor fit Buzz Savories’ mission -“Buzz Savories connects people who like cooking flavorful, easy-lift dishes and dining with friends in a social-dustancing setting.”

Only minutes needed to prepare a Spatchcocked Chicken,  and the chicken tastes moist, the skin nicely browned and crispy, roasting time approximately 50 minutes, and no guess work.

The entymology of words interests me.  The word describing this chicken – Spatchcock – probably originated in Ireland in the late 18th century according to Oxford dictionary.  It perhaps is related to the noun dispatch + cock.  Spatchcocked is an abbreviation for Dispatch the Cock and means grilling a bird after splitting it open down the back, and spreading the 2 halves out flat.  See a Spatchcocked chicken below:


A spatchcocked bird requires less time in the oven.  That means breast meat won’t be dry. Easy carving.   It also easy to make a pocket between skin and breast meat to stuff the bird with herbs and seasonings.

Thank you Jane, a Mustard Maven in Southern California for introducing me to  Spatchcocked Chicken with a Mustard Vinaigrette.  It has become a staple in my revolving data base of recipes.

Thank you Robert Scott for the food styling and photography.  I will add that the Spatchcocked Roasted Chicken and Panzanella taste as rich and savory and moist as Robert Scott’s photos portray.

Panzanella delightfully accompanies a Spatchcocked Roasted Chicken although all of your favorite side-dishes will compliment this simple to make and juicy bird.


Spicy Beer Mustard makes easy work of blending a Mustard Vinaigrette, and the vinaigrette contributes a bright flavor to the chicken, and also a required dressing for the Panzanella.

I appreciate and thank The Splendid Table for contributing to my rendition of Panzanella and Food Network for the Spatchcocked Roasted Chicken with Mustard Vinaigrette recipe.


Spatchcocked Roasted Chicken with Mustard Vinaigrette

A roasted chicken recipe that accentuates chicken flavor and is easy-to-prepare and only 50 minutes in the oven.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Irish
Prep Time 12 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 4

What You'll Need:

  • 4-6 lbs. whole chicken
  • 2 Tb. salt enough salt to season the chicken on all sides with salt
  • 2 Tb. melted butter

Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 3 Tb. Buzz Savories Spicy Beer Mustard
  • 3 Tb. sherry vinegar
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 Tb. cold water

Panzanella with Red onion, Red and Green Peppers, Tomatoes and Cucumbers

  • 3 cups torn or cubed and toasted bread Select a sour dough bread or ciabatta, or other loaf of bread
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ½ cup diced red pepper
  • ½ cup diced green pepper
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved) or coarsely chopped garden fresh tomatoes
  • 1 cup cubed garden fresh cucumbers If fresh from the Farmer's Market, peel strips from the cucumber leaving strips of green
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 Tb. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tb. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. thyme leaves or herbes de Provence

How To Prepare:

Spatchcocked Roasted Chicken

  • Preheat oven to 450 Degrees F.
  • Butterfly the chicken: remove innards from the chicken. Put the chicken on a cutting board breast side down. Find the backbone and using a pair of poultry shears or other sturdy kitchen shear, cut up the backbone on one side, and then the other side. Remove the backbone. (save for chicken stock?) Flip the bird over, breast-side up. Press down on the breast meat to open the chicken up and flatten it. The breastbone will break as you press. The chicken should now sit almost flat.
  • Season the chicken on all sides with salt.
  • Brush the chicken on all sides with melted butter
  • Put the chicken skin-side up on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a rack
  • Put the pan in the center of the hot oven and roast undisturbed for 20 minutes.
  • Then lower the temperatures to 400 degrees F and roast for an additional 30 minutes.
  • The chicken is ready when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the bird registers 155 degrees F
  • Remove chicken from the oven and allow to rest at least 15 minutes

Spicy Beer Mustard Vinaigrette

  • Combine the Spicy Beer Mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk
  • Gradually whisk in the canola oil and 1 Tb. cold water.
    Taste for seasoning.


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small saucepan, combine the butter, oil, garlic, herbs and salt. Place over medium-low heat until the butter melts, stirring to mix well
  • Spoon the butter-oil mixture over the torn bread and toss until the bread soaks up the oil mixture.
  • Spread the mixture over a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and toast for 10 minutes. Give the pan a good shake and continue toasting until golden brown, another 8 to 10 minutes. The bread should be crispy but not dried out and rock hard.
  • In a salad serving bowl, place the toasted bread and pour 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette dressing over the bread. Allow the bread to absorb the dressing, about 5 minutes
  • Toss in the green pepper, red pepper, red onion, cucumber
  • Taste, add more dressing if desired and season

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