Lemon Herb Roasted Spatchcock Chicken Over Potatoes

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This Lemon Roasted Spatchcock Chicken Over Potatoes is an instant classic! Slather a spatchcocked chicken with garlicky lemon herb butter & roast over baby potatoes until perfectly juicy, beautifully golden brown, & seriously crisp. This roasted spatchcock chicken is is a one-pan, all-in-one dinner, perfect for Sunday supper, easy entertaining, or weekly meal prep. A simple, all-purpose recipe with ridiculously flavorful results every single time!
How to make spatchcock chicken over potatoes, step 5: Roast the spatchcock chicken. A finished roasted spatchcock chicken rests inside of a white double-handle oven-safe skillet. The skillet sits atop a cream colored textured surface with neutral colored linens resting underneath the skillet. A small wooden pinch bowl filled with kosher salt, lemon wedges, a carving fork, and two white plates with gold silverware surround the skillet at center.

A Simple Roasted Spatchcock Chicken Recipe So Perfect You’ll Want to Make It Every Sunday!

Roasted chicken with potatoes is one of those iconic meals that always makes me think of a beautiful Sunday supper with family or a simple-yet-elegant dinner party with friends. My Lemon Herb Roasted Spatchcock Chicken with Potatoes recipe is our PWWB take on this timeless meal. I’ve been tinkering with it for quite some time now & I’m so excited to finally share it with you!

I’ve come to think of this roasted spatchcock chicken as a “once a week” recipe because it’s the type of meal you’ll come back to time & time again. Not only is it seriously simple to prepare, but it also yields perfect results every single time. It’s an instant classic! You’re going to be obsessed.

It all starts with a spatchcock chicken, which I pretty much always prefer over a whole chicken. (Spatchcocking has been my go-to method for roasted poultry ever since it saved our first-ever Thanksgiving dinner back in 2014.) Zero worries if you’ve never spatchcocked a chicken before – it’s a really simple technique! We recently shared a step-by-step guide to spatchcock chicken to help walk you through the entire process.

From there, the butterflied chicken is slathered with my go-to lemon herb butter (because chicken + lemon + herbs + butter = 😍😍😍) & roasts right over baby gold potatoes for a built-in schmaltzy side (the best kind of side dish, as far as I’m concerned!). An easy, all-in-one meal that requires minimal effort yet results in the most perfectly juicy, lemony, golden-brown roasted chicken.

Lemon Spatchcock Chicken with Herbs – Recipe Highlights

You’ll come back to this lemon roasted spatchcock chicken recipe time & time again because it’s an… 

  • INSTANT CLASSIC. The timeless flavors of fresh lemon zest, garlic, & aromatic herbs take this roasted chicken to the next level, resulting in a classic dinner everyone will love.
  • ALL-IN-ONE MEAL. For ease, the spatchcocked chicken roasts directly over baby potatoes all in the same pan for a full dinner with a built-in side dish.
  • ALL-PURPOSE RECIPE. Roasted spatchcock chicken is a versatile recipe staple suitable for all occasions – Sunday supper, easy entertaining, weeknight meal prep, you name it!

Roasted chicken dinner has seriously never been easier! ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make this Lemon Herb Roasted Spatchcocked Chicken Over Potatoes, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!

Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.

Key Ingredients for Spatchcocked Chicken Over Potatoes

The beauty of this roasted spatchcock chicken over potatoes recipe is the fact that you only need a handful of simple ingredients to make the best-ever chicken dinner:

  • A whole chicken – Of course! The 4 to 5-pound chicken used in this recipe will feed up to 6 people, so feel free to adjust the size of your chicken based on the crowd.
  • Lemon herb butter – My go-to seasoning for spatchcocked poultry! Simply mix unsalted butter with lemon zest, garlic, & hardy fresh herbs like oregano, rosemary, sage, & thyme. The herb butter gives the chicken amazing rich & aromatic flavor.
  • Baby potatoes – Baby potatoes are the perfect size for roasting with chicken. They cook evenly with the chicken & soak up all its flavorful drippings! I’m especially partial to the creamy texture & buttery flavor of baby gold potatoes, but any variety of mini potatoes works great here.
  • Aromatics – Wedges of yellow onion & lemon cook with the chicken & potatoes to infuse aromatic flavor as everything roasts in the oven – SO good!

Why I’m Obsessed with Spatchcock Chicken (& You Will Be Too!)

If you’ve been around PWWB for a while, then this probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard me hype up roasted spatchcock chicken. Spatchcocking is one of my favorite ways to prepare poultry because it yields the absolute best results.

How to make lemon spatchcock chicken, step 3: Butter the spatchcock chicken. A spatchcock chicken lays flat atop an aluminum baking sheet that sits atop a cream colored textured surface. The spatchcock chicken has been covered in homemade lemon herb butter. Two clear glass pinch bowls are filled with kosher salt & ground black pepper, a lemon that has been zested, and a microplane surround the bowl at center.

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

What is spatchcock chicken?

Spatchcocking is a simple technique for butchering poultry that removes the backbone of the bird, allowing it to lay completely flat as it roasts. You may also know of a spatchcock chicken as a butterfly chicken – they are the same thing!

Why spatchcocking is the best way to prepare a chicken?

A flat chicken is amazing for 2 main reasons: it allows the lemon spatchcock chicken to cook way more evenly & in much less time. Spatchcocking pretty much eliminates the possibility of ending up with dry, overcooked chicken!

How to spatchcock a chicken?

The key to prepping a spatchcock chicken is to remove its backbone. Use sharp kitchen shears to cut out the backbone of the chicken, then stretch open the chicken cavity & apply pressure until it lies nice & flat.

Ready to get spatchcocking?

Check out our complete guide on How to Spatchcock Chicken for full details, including step-by-step photos!

Lemony, Garlicky Herb Butter: The Secret to an Extra-Flavorful Roast Spatchcock Chicken

This lemon herb butter is a staple in the PWWB kitchen – it’s the best combination of 2 of my favorite things: fresh lemons & fresh herbs! It’s my go-to seasoning for roasted chicken & turkey because it helps keep lean poultry meat nice & juicy as it roasts, all while infusing it with tons of crave-worthy aromatic flavor.

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

While homemade herb butter may sound super fancy, it’s actually quite simple to whip up! Here’s what you’ll do…

1

Zest the lemons, grate the garlic, & finely chop the fresh herbs. This aromatic blend of citrus & herbs is what brings the herb butter to life! You can use whatever herbs you like best, but I recommend a mix of rosemary, sage, & thyme. Herb Butter Tip! ⇢ These herbs are often packaged as a “poultry herb” blend in the grocery store. It costs significantly less than buying them separately!

2

Mix the lemon herb butter. Mix the lemon zest, garlic, & fresh herbs into softened butter. Season with salt & ground black pepper, & mix to combine. All done!

Make-Ahead Herb Butter

This lemon herb butter can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, making it especially convenient to prep ahead of time. It only takes about 10 minutes to mix it up. When you start to prepare your roasted spatchcock chicken dinner, simply pull the herb butter out of the fridge. Easy!

How to Make Spatchcocked Chicken Over Potatoes (All In One Pan!)

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

*Roasted Chicken Prep Tip!

If you’re able to plan ahead of time, I highly recommend resting your chicken overnight in the refrigerator. Simply transfer your spatchcocked chicken to a small rimmed baking sheet & place it in your refrigerator, uncovered, for up to 1 day. Why? ⇢ The chicken skin loses its natural moisture as it sits in the fridge uncovered. Less moisture helps ensure the chicken skin gets beautifully golden-brown & seriously crispy as it roasts. Crispy skin is the BEST part of a roast spatchcock chicken, so this simple extra step is well worth it!

1

Prep & butter the spatchcock chicken. Season the spatchcock chicken with homemade lemon herb butter, using your hands to rub the butter underneath the chicken skin, directly on the meat. Keep going until you’ve slathered lemon herb butter over the entire chicken. Tip! ⇢ This step is easiest when the butter is very soft – even better if it’s practically melted! Speed things up by microwaving the butter for 10-15 seconds until it’s nice & soft, which will help you spread it on the chicken evenly.

2

Herby lemon spatchcocked chicken over potatoes assembly. Place the baby potatoes, sliced onion, & lemon quarters into an oven-safe skillet or braiser, then drizzle with olive oil & season with salt & pepper. Place the beautifully buttered lemon spatchcock chicken right on top, skin side facing up, & add a touch more olive oil, salt, & pepper. Why? ⇢ This is a total one-pan miracle dish! Not only is roasting the chicken & potatoes in the same skillet super convenient, it also allows all their flavors to meld together as it roasts – absolutely delicious!

3

Roast the spatchcock chicken. Cook the spatchcocked chicken over potatoes for about an hour, rotating the pan every 20 minutes to promote even browning. The roasted spatchcock chicken is done cooking once it reaches an internal temp of 160 degrees F. Be sure to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the breast & thigh to get a proper reading.

4

Rest. Take the roasted spatchcock chicken & potatoes out of the oven & carefully tent the skillet with aluminum foil. The chicken should rest for about 10-15 minutes before you carve it. Why? ⇢ As the chicken rests, its internal temperature will continue to rise to a safe 165 degrees F. Resting also gives the juices a chance to redistribute throughout the meat, making the lemon spatchcock chicken perfectly juicy!

5

Carve & serve. Carving a roast spatchcock chicken is just like carving a whole chicken. Slice the chicken breast meat, enjoy the legs on their own, & pinch off the wings for a little snack (the cook always deserves first dibs! 😎).

An overhead shot of a roasted and carved lemon spatchcock chicken with baby gold potatoes is served on a white plate with a gold fork resting alongside. The plate sits atop a cream colored textured surface with neutral colored linens resting underneath the plate. A small wooden pinch bowl filled with kosher salt, lemon wedges, a blue green glass filled with water, and loose fresh herbs surround the plate.

Serving Lemon Herb Roasted Spatchcock Chicken

Before serving the roast spatchcock chicken & potatoes, be sure to carefully remove the spent lemons. I love to squeeze any remaining roasted lemon juice over the entire pan before discarding them so nothing goes to waste.

The potatoes in this recipe are a built-in side dish, making the spatchcocked chicken over potatoes an all-in-one meal. It’s ready to go straight out of the oven! You can also add some veggies to round out the meal. A few ideas…

  • Serve a big, bold, fresh salad. Keep things simple by tossing up a green salad with our All-Purpose Vinaigrette. Or, find inspiration in the season’s produce & try a Spring Vegetable Salad or an Autumn Kale Salad.
  • Sauté up some seasonal veggies. Sautéed green beans or asparagus both pair really well with lemon spatchcock chicken. Pro Tip! ⇢ Reserve a tablespoon of lemon herb butter to sauté the veggies!

Serve your lemon herb roast spatchcock chicken for date night, easy entertaining with friends, or a weekly Sunday supper with your fam.

If you have leftovers, lucky you! Leftover roasted chicken is great to have on hand – throw it in salads, on sandwiches, or reheat & enjoy with a new side. Sometimes I roast up a lemon spatchcock chicken just to have leftovers – it makes weekday mealtime that much easier!

I can’t wait for you to try this Lemon Herb Roasted Spatchcocked Chicken Over Potatoes! It’s so simple, yet yields absolutely perfect results every single time. I have a feeling that you’ll be just as obsessed with it as I am! If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations!

Love Classic Chicken Dinners? Be sure to try my Skillet Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuits, All-Time Favorite Chicken Cacciatore, or Hawaiian Shoyu Chicken next. ♡ Happy cooking!

Print
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A finished roasted spatchcock chicken over potatoes rests inside of a white double-handle oven-safe skillet. The skillet sits atop a cream colored textured surface with neutral colored linens resting underneath the skillet. A small wooden pinch bowl filled with kosher salt, lemon wedges, a carving fork, and two white plates with gold silverware surround the skillet at center.

Lemon Herb Roasted Spatchcock Chicken Over Potatoes

  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes, Chicken Recipes
  • Method: Oven Roasted
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Roasted chicken with potatoes is one of those iconic meals that always makes me think of a beautiful Sunday supper with family or a simple-yet-elegant dinner party with friends. This Lemon Roasted Spatchcock Chicken Over Potatoes is our take on this timeless meal. It’s seriously simple to prepare & yields absolutely perfect results every single time. An instant classic!

If you’ve never butterflied or spatchcocked a chicken before, most grocery store butchers are happy to quickly take care of it for you. It’s also really, really easy to do yourself! Be sure to check out our Step-by-Step Guide to Spatchcock Chicken, which has tips & photos to walk you through every step of the process.

From there, the chicken is slathered with my go-to lemon herb butter (because chicken + lemon + herbs + butter = 😍😍😍) & roasts right over baby gold potatoes for a built-in schmaltzy side (the best kind of side dish, as far as I’m concerned!).

An easy, all-in-one meal that requires minimal effort yet results in the most perfectly juicy, lemony, golden-brown roasted chicken. Whether you make it for Sunday supper, easy entertaining, or even weekly meal prep – I think you’re going to be obsessed!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 (one) 4-5 pound whole chicken, spatchcocked
  • lemon herb butter (below)
  • 24 ounces (1 1/2 pounds) baby gold potatoes or mini potatoes of choice
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled & sliced into eighths
  • 1 large lemon, cut into quarters
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season

for the lemon herb butter:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
  • 2 large lemons, zested
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped hardy fresh herbs, such as oregano, rosemary, sage, or thyme (see Recipe Notes)
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season

Instructions

Chicken Prep: Spatchcocking is a poultry butchering technique in which the poultry’s spine is removed so the poultry lays completely flat during the cooking process, which facilitates faster & more even roasting. While you can ask your butcher to spatchcock the chicken for you, it’s also very simple to do at home with a pair of sharp kitchen shears. I like to spatchcock chicken a day before I plan on roasting it, leaving the chicken to chill uncovered in the refrigerator, which dries out the surface of the chicken & results in a seriously crispy & beautifully golden brown roasted chicken. Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Spatchcock the chicken: Use paper towel to pat chicken very dry. Place breast-side down on a large plastic cutting board. Using very sharp kitchen shears, carefully snip along each side of the backbone, until completely detached. With the breast side of the chicken still facing down, use your hands to gently stretch open the rib cavity of the chicken. Place the heel of your knife at the center of the wishbone. Tap the spine of the knife with a rolling pin, until the wishbone snaps and the breastplate cracks. Flip the chicken so it lays flat, breast side facing up – you just spatchcocked a chicken! For step-by-step photos & more tips & tricks, be sure to check out PWWB’s How to Spatchcock a Chicken tutorial post.
  2. Optional: Chill the chicken, uncovered: Transfer the spatchcocked chicken to a small rimmed baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator to chill, uncovered, for up to 1 day.

Lemon Herb Roasted Spatchcock Chicken Over Potatoes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, ensuring a rack is positioned in the center of the oven. Pull the spatchcocked chicken from the refrigerator to give it a chance to warm to room temperature for more even roasting – the surface of the chicken should be pretty dry to the touch, if not, pat it down with some paper towel. Gather & prep ingredients according to Ingredients List, above.Lemon Herb Roasted Spatchcock Chicken Over Potatoes ingredients arranged on a cream colored textured surface: one whole chicken, baby gold potatoes, yellow onion, lemons, olive oil, kosher salt, ground black pepper, unsalted butter, garlic, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme.
  2. Mix the lemon herb butter: Add all listed lemon herb butter ingredients to a medium bowl. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Mix to combine well. Set aside for immediate use, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.How to make lemon spatchcock chicken, step 2: Mix the lemon herb butter. An off-white ceramic bowl with a brown rim rests atop a cream colored textured surface and is filled with a lemon herb butter. A gold spoon rests inside of the bowl used for mixing. Two clear glass pinch bowls are filled with kosher salt & ground black pepper, lemon wedges, lemon zest, fresh thyme, and a microplane surround the bowl at center.
  3. Butter the spatchcock chicken: This is easiest when the butter is very soft, nearly melted, so feel free to pop the lemon herb butter in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to soften it up nicely. Use your hands to spread the prepared lemon herb butter between the chicken skin & meat: use your hand to grab some of the herb butter, then gently work your hand under the skin over the breast, sweeping from side to side, rubbing the herb butter directly on the breast meat. Use the same technique to season the chicken legs by working your hand down the side of the chicken into the thigh and leg area. Be careful not to tear or remove the skin from the chicken. Buttering the chicken meat directly helps keep it juicy & flavorful. If you have any leftover lemon herb butter, rub it across the surface of the spatchcock chicken. Set aside.How to make lemon spatchcock chicken, step 3: Butter the spatchcock chicken. A spatchcock chicken lays flat atop an aluminum baking sheet that sits atop a cream colored textured surface. The spatchcock chicken has been covered in homemade lemon herb butter. Two clear glass pinch bowls are filled with kosher salt & ground black pepper, lemons that have been zested, and a microplane surround the bowl at center.
  4. Assemble the spatchcock chicken over potatoes for roasting: Place the baby potatoes, sliced onion, & quartered lemon in an oven-safe skillet or braiser. Lightly drizzle with olive oil, then season liberally with 2 teaspoons kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Toss to coat. Place the buttered spatchcock chicken over the potatoes (skin side facing up). Lightly drizzle the surface of the spatchcock chicken with olive oil, then season liberally with 1 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired.How to make roasted spatchcock chicken, step 4: A raw but assembled spatchcock chicken over potatoes is arranged in a white double-handle oven-safe skillet. The skillet sits atop a cream colored textured surface. Onions and lemon wedges have been placed around the chicken. Two clear glass pinch bowls filled with kosher salt & ground black pepper, fresh thyme, lemons that have been zested, and a bottle of olive oil surround the chicken at center.
  5. Roast the spatchcock chicken over potatoes: Transfer the skillet or braiser to the oven, immediately reducing the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Roast for 1 hour – 1 hour 10 minutes, rotating the chicken every 20 minutes to promote even roasting & browning. Pull the chicken from the oven once an instant-read thermometer, inserted in the thickest part of the breast & thigh, registers an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.A finished roasted spatchcock chicken over potatoes rests inside of a white double-handle oven-safe skillet. The skillet sits atop a cream colored textured surface with neutral colored linens resting underneath the skillet. A small wooden pinch bowl filled with kosher salt, lemon wedges, a carving fork, and two white plates with gold silverware surround the skillet at center.
  6. Rest, carve, & serve: Remove the roasted spatchcock chicken over potatoes from the oven & carefully tent with foil. Set aside to rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before carving. As the chicken rests, its juices will redistribute throughout the meat & its internal temperature will continue to rise to a safe 165 degrees F. From there, carefully transfer the chicken to a cutting board to carve as desired. Discard the spent roasted lemons, using tongs to carefully squeeze any remaining juice over the roasted potatoes & onions. Serve the lemon roasted spatchcock chicken with the potatoes, onions, & any lemon herb chicken drippings in the skillet. Enjoy!An overhead shot of a roasted and carved lemon spatchcock chicken with baby gold potatoes is served on a white plate with a gold fork resting alongside. The plate sits atop a cream colored textured surface with neutral colored linens resting underneath the plate. A small wooden pinch bowl filled with kosher salt, lemon wedges, a blue green glass filled with water, and loose fresh herbs surround the plate.


Notes

  • Fresh herbs – Rather than buying fresh herbs individually, many grocery stores that sell fresh herbs carry a “poultry blend” consisting of fresh rosemary, sage, & thyme – perfect for any roasted chicken dinner! Similar dried herbs & herb blends, such as dried oregano, dried rosemary, dried thyme or herbs de provence or Italian seasoning, work great in a pinch. If using dried herbs, use 1 heaping tablespoon instead of 1/4 cup as listed in the Ingredients List above.
  • Storage & Reheating: Leftover lemon roasted spatchcock chicken & potatoes will keep, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave until warmed through. Once you’ve enjoyed all of the chicken, sure to hang on to the roasted chicken carcass to make homemade chicken stock or broth!
  • 20-Minute Meal Prep: While roasted spatchcock chicken over potatoes makes for a great kitchen project, there are a couple of things you can prep ahead of time to eliminate almost all active prep at dinnertime:
    • Spatchcock the chicken according to Chicken Prep Step 1, above, up to 3 days ahead of time. If roasting within 1 day of spatchcocking, chill the chicken uncovered according to Chicken Prep Step 2, above. If not, place the chicken in a large airtight container & store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. (10 minutes active prep)
    • Prepare the lemon herb butter according to Step 2 of Recipe Directions, above. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. (10 minutes active prep)

Keywords: lemon herb spatchcock chicken recipe, classic chicken dinner, lemon herb roasted chicken, butterflied chicken dinner

Recipe by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by KJ & Company, Kate Poskochil

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Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

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Comments

  1. 4.24.22
    Kristina said:

    This may be my favorite recipe PWWB ever developed…..or my favorite thing I have ever eaten…ever. The combination of flavors and the quantity of everything was amazing! The potatoes and onions were such an added bonus. I am OBSESSED. I love how easy and quickly it all came together. This was definitely a make again. Thank youuuu.

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