Chipotle Spatchcock Chicken

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This Chipotle Spatchcock Chicken is an easy way to put a budget-friendly, Paleo meal on the table that the whole family will love. Toss some veggies in the oven at the same time and serve up a delicious, nourishing meal!

 overhead view of a Chipotle Spatchcock Chicken on a white plate with a gray napkin

I like to regularly challenge myself to come up with a new way to prepare a whole chicken. I love the idea of cooking up whole chickens because I can usually get more bang for my buck! PLUS, I just love the idea of how I can simply season and then pop the whole bird in the oven for a meal popping with great flavor, texture, and nutrition.

Don’t let the name “spatchcock” intimidate you. It’s EASY PEASY. “Spatchcock” refers to a method in which we make just 3 cuts so that the bird will lay relatively flat while it cooks. This helps us get crispy skin all over! The chipotle butter rub we spread under the skin flavors the spatchcock chicken so well and the sprinkle of dry seasoning on top helps to season that delectable skin even more.

Chipotle Spatchcock Chicken on a white plate with a gray napkin

You can EASILY turn this chicken into a whole meal by doubling the chipotle butter, melting it, and pouring it over some oven-friendly veggies. I’m thinking of cauliflower roughly chopped into large chunks and a few pounds of red-skinned potatoes. Just spread them out on a sheet tray and place them in the oven at the same time as the spatchcock chicken!

 overhead view of a Chipotle Spatchcock Chicken on a white plate with a gray napkin

Feel free to experiment with this recipe. I’ve used this method with ancho chili powder (spicy), regular chili powder (way less spicy), and paprika (not spicy at all). Enjoy!  If you're looking for more spatchcock chicken ideas, check out this Spatchcock Hen Sheet Pan Dinner that people are raving about.


Chipotle Spatchcock Chicken

overhead view of a Chipotle Spatchcock Chicken on a white plate with a gray napkin
  • Author: Cassy
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 servings


  • 1 whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry
  • 3 tablespoons butter or ghee, softened
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (medium spice), chipotle powder (spicy), ancho powder (very spicy), or paprika (not spicy at all)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. To spatchchock the chicken, I recommend using kitchen sheers (sharp scissors like THESE). Turn the chicken over so that it is breast side-down on a cutting board. Slide your scissors along one side of the spine (inserting at either the top or the bottom of the cavity), and cut along the side of the spine. Repeat this cut along the other side of the spine until you can totally remove it from the chicken. Discard the spine or save it to make broth (recipe in my ‘Fed & Fit' book). With the chicken still breast side-down on the cutting board, use your hands to press the bird as flat as possible on the cutting board – spreading the now cut back out as much as possible and putting your weight over the thighs to press them down. To help the chicken lay more flat, use a sharp knife and slice (from inside the cavity) about 1/4 of an inch into the sternum (right between the breasts). This will help the chicken lay flat. Flip the chicken over and prepare to season!
  3. To prepare the seasoned butter, stir half of all the dry seasonings into the softened butter. Mix until well-combined. To season the chicken, pull the skin on the breast and legs away from the meat. Using either a spoon or your hands, push the seasoned butter under the skin and spread it out as much as possible. Repeat until you've used all the butter.
  4. Once the chicken is seasoned under the skin, mix the rest of the dry seasonings together, and sprinkle them all over the top of the skin.
  5. Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet or in a roasting pan (or large heavy-bottomed pot). Bake at 375 F uncovered for 35 minutes. Be careful to watch that the skin doesn't burn. After 35 minutes, place a sheet of tin foil over the top of the chicken (loosely) and then bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Once finished baking, set the chicken aside with the foil on to rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with the fresh cilantro and carve as you like to enjoy!

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  1. Steven Sager says:

    Do you have an Instant Pot version of the recipe? Also, a part of the budget stretching, once the chicken meat has been eaten there is plenty left for homemade bone broth. Many Thanks