Spice Rubbed Spatchcock Chicken

This Spice Rubbed Spatchcock Chicken is loaded with layers of texture, crispiness, and flavor.   This recipe calls for baking, yet you can easily transition this to a large skillet for pan frying or fire up the grill for a smoky result.

Spatchcock chicken cooks more evenly because the backbone is removed, resulting in a flat chicken.  Because of this, the breast and thigh meat is done simultaneously.  The chicken also cooks 25% faster when butterflied, and because it’s on a flat surface, there is maximum exposure to heat.  This results in poultry with crispy, golden brown skin.


Spiced rubbed spatchcock chicken in a black iron skillet on top of a wooden cutting board. There are lemon slices, parsley sprigs, a stainless steel fork, and a green cloth napkin.

Spatchcocking works beautifully on different types of poultry.  Cornish game hens, chickens, duck, and turkey all benefit from this cooking process.  It takes roughly 30 seconds to cut the backbone out.  Not bad for all of the benefits you receive.  

With this being said, sometimes you may have a different goal.  Presenting a full round bird has its own benefits.  One method you can use to achieve this is beer can chicken.  These stand-up birds can turn heads with their presentations, flavor profiles, and textures. 

Spiced rubbed spatchcock chicken in a black iron skillet on top of a wooden cutting board. There are lemon slices, parsley sprigs, a stainless steel fork, and a green cloth napkin.

Spice Rubbed Spatchcock Chicken

Foodie de Froid
Servings 6 people
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 5 hours
Spiced Rubbed Spatchcock Chicken is flattened for uniform cooking, rubbed with a flavor-packed spice, and roasted to golden brown perfection. A spatchcocked chicken cooks faster than a traditional roasted chicken and always comes out tender and juicy. You'll feel like a chef serving your humans this chicken.
This makes a hot and spicy chicken. If you like spice but not heat, leave out the cayenne. You can also use 1/2 the spice mixture and save the remaining in a glass jar for next time. The beauty of this recipe is you can adjust the seasonings to your liking.
5 from 1 vote


  • 1 4-5 pound chicken whole and patted dry (Organic if available)
  • 3 root vegetables Such as potatoes and carrots. Cut into large dice to soak up liquid as it falls from the chicken. Ensure the size will fit under your flat grate.

Chicken Rub

  • 1 tbsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp ground thyme
  • 2 tsp sage dried
  • ½ tsp cayenne optional - if you like heat



  • Combine the rub ingredients and transfer the mixture to a spice grinder or food processor; blend until smooth.


  • Place the whole chicken breast side down on a work surface.
  • Remove the Backbone by cutting along one side of the neck and backbone with kitchen shears. Stay as tight as you can to the bone from the neck to the thigh area to preserve the meat. Repeat along the opposite side of the neck and backbone. Discard the backbone or save for stock.
  • Flatten the chicken by flipping it over, so the breast side is up. Press firmly on the breastbone to flatten it. Set it on a rack in a pan in the refrigerator for four hours to let the skin firm up.


  • Preheat the oven to 425 °F. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil. Lay the diced root vegetables on the foil (underneath the area where the bird will be). Spray a flat rack large enough to hold the chicken and place it in the pan over the vegetables.
  • Rub the spice mixture over the entire surface of the chicken, adding more if needed to ensure you get the flavor on every bite. Set the chicken on the flat rack breast side up. Rearrange to ensure your bird is sitting even and balanced on the rack.
  • Bake uncovered at 425˚F for 40 -45 min or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast meat reads 155 °F and the thickest part of the thigh meat reads 175 °F. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting.

Kitchen Equipment

1 Roasting pan with flat rack


This makes a hot and spicy chicken. If you like spice, but not heat, leave out the cayenne. You can also use 1/2 the spice mixture and save the remaining in a glass jar for next time.
Cooking:  This recipe has instructions for oven baking.  Use this same recipe for grilling over indirect heat and cook until the center of the meatiest section of the breast is 150 degrees Fahrenheit and the thigh is 170 degrees Fahrenheit.  Then grill over direct heat to further char and crisp the skin.  Let rest for 10 minutes and serve.
Rub: Disposable nitrile gloves are great for handling chicken.  When you're done slathering on the rub, toss them in the garbage, and you're on to baking.
Rub Substitution #1:  Use your favorite chicken rub instead of the rub recipe.
Rub Substitution #2:  Use 1 tbsp salt, 1 tsp baking powder, and 1 tsp black pepper for a crispy-skinned yet less spicy chicken.
Course dinner, entree
Cuisine American
Calories 133


Serving: 6peopleCalories: 133kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 2gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0.1mgSodium: 918mgPotassium: 280mgFiber: 3gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 896IUVitamin C: 42mgCalcium: 98mgIron: 2mg
Keyword oven baked, spatchcock, spice rubbed, whole chicken
Have you made this recipe? We'd love to hear how it was!

De Froid Tip: Secret Indredient

What’s the secret ingredient that makes crispy skin?  Baking Powder!  Here’s a scientific breakdown of why this works.

The slightly alkaline mixture raises the skin’s pH levels.  This allows proteins to break down more efficiently, giving you crisper, more evenly browned results. Simultaneously, it combines with the bird’s natural juices, forming carbon dioxide gas that leaves you with tiny bubbles. These bubbles increase the skin’s surface area.  Because of this, it develops a crunchy texture once cooked.  

If you are looking to up your crispy game, try adding baking powder to your rub before you put it in the oven.

Baking powder that is aluminum free on a black slate coaster sitting on a small rectangular wood cutting board with a handle A small silver spoon is set next to the baking powder.

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