So you want to spatchcock a chicken, do you? This Flat Roast Chicken with Tiny Potatoes is the perfect recipe for a spatchcocked chicken! Who knew that roast chicken on a weeknight could be so easy?

Pieces of Flat Roast Chicken with Tiny Potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts served in a white oval serving platter.

So, I spatchcocked my first chicken a couple of months ago. 

And I KNOW that sounds horrific if you’ve never heard the term before. But in no uncertain terms, it means that I flattened a chicken. And honestly, it was way more difficult that I thought it was going to be.

Up until now, when I’ve wanted to grill a whole chicken, I’ve had the butcher do the hard work and not only take out the backbone, like I did here for this recipe, but bone the whole chicken as well.  (Or is it de-bone? I know it’s not [ahem], de-thaw, but how does it work with bones?)

ANYwhooo, when I mentioned this on Facebook the night that I made this flat roasted chicken with teeny tiny potatoes, some of you said you spatchcock on a regular basis. 

Guys, maybe it’s because this was my first time, but it took me nearly 15 minutes to cut out the backbone. Is this normal?? Do I need a sharper pair of kitchen shears?

How to Make Flat Roast Chicken

In any event, once I got the chicken butterflied, this recipe was smooth-sailing. You’ll season the chicken with salt and pepper and lay the chicken out in a roasting pan.

Then, like any good one pan recipe, you’ll add some things to the pan. First, toss some potatoes (and whatever other veggies you have hanging out in the fridge) with melted butter around the chicken. 

As the chicken cooks, the juices flavor the potatoes and you’ve got yourself a classic French street food dinner in one pan, in perhaps a little over an hour.

Because the chicken is flattened out, it takes a little less time to cook than a fat, round roast chicken does, and if I’m able to manage roasted chicken on a weeknight, I’m a happy, happy woman!

Pieces of Flat Roast Chicken with Tiny Potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts served in a white oval serving platter.

Flat Roasted Chicken with Tiny Potatoes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Flat Roasted Chicken is simply a whole spatchcocked chicken that's had the spine removed and opened up flat in a pan. For this recipe, you'll add a bunch of tiny potatoes around the chicken, which will cook in melted butter and the chicken drippings. The whole meal is ready in under 1 hour and it's phenomenal!!


  • One 3 to 3 ½ lb whole chicken
  • Table salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ lbs fingerling, tiny yellow, or baby red potatoes
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 lemon
  • Fresh herbs for finishing like thyme, parsley, or rosemary


  1. Preheat the oven to 450° F.
  2. Using a sharp pair of kitchen shears, cut out the backbone of the chicken. If you've never done this before, flip the bird so it is breast-side-down and from the neck cavity, cut along one side of the backbone. This is going to take some muscle so be prepared. Then cut along the other side and snip off the backbone. Either discard or freeze it to use for chicken stock at a later time. If you can't bring yourself to try this - though I suggest you do! - have your butcher do this for you.
  3. Flatten out the chicken and sprinkle both sides liberally with salt and pepper. Lay the bird breast-side-up in the roasting pan. Nestle the potatoes around the outside of the chicken, squeezing them all into the pan and perhaps slightly underneath the chicken if need-be. Drizzle the potatoes with the butter and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast the chicken for 40-45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken (when you stick the meat thermometer into the thigh) is 165° F. It's always a good idea to check the temperature of a whole chicken no matter how long you cook it for - they can be tricky sometimes.
  5. Once the chicken is finished, transfer it from the pan to a carving board. Cut off the chicken pieces and arrange them with the potatoes on a large serving platter. Squeeze a bit of lemon over the chicken and sprinkle with the fresh herbs. Serve hot.


adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

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