Grilled Spatchcocked Chicken with Lemon

I have always wanted to try grilling a spatchcocked chicken.

Okay, I’ll be honest….

I have always wanted mon mari to try grilling a spatchcocked chicken.

He’s in charge of both the grilling and the butchering of meat. (I butcher the pumpkins.)

He has the proper tools – big knives plus I bought him a heavy duty poultry sheers many years ago. I even knew where it was.

So he did the cutting and I did the prepping and it was good.

Spatchcocking, aka: butterflying, involves removing the backbone so the bird lies flat. I would explain the procedure but there are many, many tutorials, both video and written, on-line that will do a much better job.

Mon mari says it’s easy…..

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Grilled Spatchcocked Chicken with Lemon

This is an easy way to grill a whole chicken. We did it for 2 with enough left for lunch the next day. A large chicken easily serves 4.

  • Author: Kate
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Marinate: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Grilling


  • 1 whole chicken, spatchcocked / butterflied
  • 3 tbs snipped fresh chives
  • 4 tbs finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tbs finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (20z, 60ml) olive oil


  • Early in the day or the night before mix chopped herbs, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • Add enough olive oil to make a thin paste. (I used it all.)
  • Loosen the skin on the chicken by slowly working your fingers between the flesh and the skin. Try not to puncture the skin.
  • With your fingers take a bit of the herb mixture and put it under the skin, smoothing it over the flesh.
  • Stretch the skin to cover and put in a baking dish of some sort, just large enough to hold it.
  • Put about half under the skin, then spoon the remainder over the skin.
  • Cover and refrigerate 4 hours / until ready to cook.
  • Cook on barbecue grill for 30 – 45 minutes. Chicken is done at 170F (76C) or when juices run clear – poke with a skewer or knife. Thighs and legs take a bit longer than breasts.


It’s not difficult to spatchcock or butterfly a whole chicken but you could also use your favorite pieces. You can find video instructions to spatchcock online.
Start it over direct heat, but watch carefully – the oil will cause flair-ups. Once it gets some nice color/flavor move it to indirect heat, close cover and let finish cooking.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
  • Calories: 401
  • Sugar: 0.5 g
  • Sodium: 471.6 mg
  • Fat: 20.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.8 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.3 g
  • Fiber: 1.1 g
  • Protein: 49.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 156 mg

Keywords: grilled chicken, spatchcock chicken, lemon chicken

For different flavors try Lemon Rosemary Grilled Chicken

Grilled Chicken with Lemon & Herbs

Here is the chicken, prepped and ready to marinate.

Our ‘whole’ chickens have the extra bit of leg that one does not see in the U.S.

Herbed Chicken

I have decided not to complain about our heat wave today.

Instead I’ll show you my best heat-wave tomato:

I have been getting a lot of tortured tomatoes.

I also got a few perfectly round tomatoes so I could have my favorite summer lunch:

A simple tuna / mayo mix on perfectly ripe tomatoes.

It was so good I did it again the next day.

Sadly, the last 2 weeks of heat wave have put a stop to new tomatoes forming, so I may have picked the last.

But it’s early days – I’ll give them a chance to recover.

4 thoughts on “Grilled Spatchcocked Chicken with Lemon”

  1. I have not done this to a chicken. I haven’t found a whole chicken in the grocery that weighs over four pounds in quite a long time now and under is too small to grill. It dries out before it’s done. I have some breasts and thighs though so maybe I’ll try the marinade and do them separately.

    Tomatoes! I now have tomatoes like no one’s business, but they’re all green and I have no idea if they’ll turn red before the plants die. I hope they do, but we’ll see. My cukes are still producing, but the cukes themselves are smaller than they were and the plants are turning yellow even though they’re still covered with flowers and pinky sized cukes still. I wish I understood why they do that. Why I can’t seem to get the plants to last long enough to get the rest of the cukes off them first. *sigh*

    • Chicken production laws are changing here so they are getting more expensive but are being raised more humanely. So we are getting bigger chickens. It’s about time (for the humanely bit),
      I think my tomatoes are done. They were thoroughly stressed and I see no flowers so..,
      Our temps have dropped 20 degrees – lovely!

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