Rosemary Lemon Spatchcocked Chicken
Rosemary Lemon Spatchcocked Chicken – butterflied chicken marinated in olive oil, rosemary, and lemon – cooked under a weight on an outdoors grill.
One of the most pleasurable of all summer activities, in my opinion, is grilling. Cooking food over an open fire in the outdoors creates flavors that just can’t be achieved in the indoor kitchen. It’s funny – on almost every weekend in the summer, you can smell the grills going in our neighborhood from late afternoon into the evening. Everybody loves grilled food.
Now, you might call it “barbecuing,” but not in the South. In the South, we don’t “barbecue.” We grill or cookout. To a Southerner, the term “barbecue” means any food to which a barbecue sauce has been applied. Said food may or may not have been cooked outdoors over an open fire. If it was, then it’s grilled whether or not a barbecue sauce was involved. Confused? Sorry.
This delicious Rosemary Lemon Spatchcocked Chicken is not barbecued. It is most definitely grilled.
It’s a butterflied chicken that has been marinated in a mixture of olive oil, rosemary, lemon, salt, and pepper and cooked under a weight on an outdoor grill. Not barbecued.
It makes for an easy and delicious summer supper. I won’t go into the difference between dinner and supper in the South. I’ve already confused you enough as it is.
How to Make Rosemary Lemon Spatchcocked Chicken
Let’s Go Step-by-Step
I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the recipe card.
How to Spatchcock a Chicken
To spatchcock a chicken, you start by removing the backbone. Use a pair of kitchen shears or a sharp, heavy knife to cut down either side of the backbone.
Turn the chicken over and press down on the upper breast area until the bones crack and the chicken is flattened. I know this sounds a bit gruesome so if you want, you can ask your butcher to do this part for you. Though really, it’s not as difficult as it may seem.
The last step is to make a shallow cut between the leg and thigh. Why? Well, that’s usually the last part to cook through and making a little cut there will help the dark pieces to cook at about the same time as the lighter pieces. You’ll have nicely done chicken without dry white meat – a little trick I picked up from Jacques Pepin on an old episode of Julia and Jacques.
Next, make the marinade
I just mix it right in the bag I’m going to use. No need to dirty another bowl, right? I do put the bag into a bowl so it’s easier to contain while measuring in the ingredients. Just toss in the rosemary, olive oil, juice and rinds of the lemons, salt, and pepper.
Marinate at Least 4 Hours
Add the chicken. Turn it several times so that every part is well coated with the marinade. Refrigerate it for 4 hours, or up to overnight.
Cook the Chicken
When ready to grill, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. Prepare either a charcoal or gas grill for indirect cooking. Indirect cooking is when you place the hot coals (or lighted burners) on one side of the grill and food on the other, or cool, side of the grill. That way the chicken fat and olive oil doesn’t drip directly into the hot coals and flare-ups are reduced to a minimum.
Make sure the grill grate is well oiled and place the chicken skin side up on the cool side of the grill. Top it with a brick wrapped in foil for weight. You could also use a heavy cast iron skillet. You just want something to weight the chicken down and press it flat while it’s cooking.
Cook for about 25 minutes. Turn the chicken over, replace the brick and cook for an additional 25 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160F. Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for 10 minutes. Serve with additional lemon slices if desired.
🧾 More Recipes You’ll Like
- Grilled Pork Chops
- Grilled Steak BeeBop Style
- Smothered Barbecued Chicken
- Juicy Delicious Turkey Burgers
- Grilled Endive Salad
- Orange-Rosemary Grilled Chicken
HAVE YOU TRIED THIS RECIPE?
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Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked it!
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Rosemary Lemon Spatchcocked Chicken
- 1 chicken 3 1/2 to 4 pounds
- 3 springs fresh rosemary roughly chopped
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 lemons
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Prepare the chicken by removing the backbone. Cut down both sides through the ribs using kitchen shears or a sharp, heavy knife. Turn the chicken over and press down on the upper breast area until the bones crack and the chicken is flattened. Make a cut between the leg and thigh to promote even cooking.
- In a large re-sealable bag, combine the rosemary, olive oil, juice and rinds of the lemons, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken, turning to coat well. Refrigerate for 4 hours, or up to overnight.
- When ready to grill, remove the chicken from the refrigerator to come to room temperature. Prepare either a charcoal or gas grill for indirect cooking. Place the chicken skin side up on the cool side of the grill. Top it with a brick wrapped in foil for weight. Cook for 25 minutes. Turn the chicken over, replace the brick and cook for an additional 25 minutes or until an internal temperature of 160 is reached.
- Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve with additional lemon slices if desired.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
Lemon and rosemary are the perfect combo for chicken – love this spatchcocked method!
I TOTALLY agree with you! Their is almost nothing better than grilled food!! well maybe my kids & husband, lol! Your chicken looks delicious!
A simple recipe but how marvelous! I definitely need to do this but oven baked. I love lemon with chicken!
Oh, this looks good and it is something that I want to do. Nice photos, thanks :)
I have lots of bricks! Count me in.
my mouth is watering! I love lemon and rosemary on chicken!
This is fantastic Lana. I love chicken, particularly on the grill. And lemon is perfect for it.
I had never heard the term spatchcocked before. I’ve never been brave enough to grill a whole chicken like this. It looks amazing and I might just have to give it a go.
I love brick chicken! Great tutorial!
I’m totally craving grilled chicken now!
I love grilling in the summer. Your marinade is similar to what I do for when I roast the chicken in the oven. The aroma while it cooks is amazing! Great step-by-step photos, Lana!!
I’ve never cooked chicken like that but now I surely want to try it!
I don’t think we ever cooked chicken this way! Printing this for my husband now (he’s the meat handler in our house) as I would love to try it! I bet it’s super flavorful after marinating in rosemary and olive oil for a few hours. Yum!!
The brick is a great idea!
This is a great one
Yum! I’ve never had spatchcocked chicken on the grill! Looks delicious!
YUM, I can’t wait to try your recipe! Adding it to my weekly meal planner for next week! :)
Love lemon and rosemary together!