Spatchcocked Chicken with Gremolata

Yeah, it sounds mighty fancy, but it’s just butterflied chicken with a lemon herb marinade. Flattening the bird evens out the cooking so the white meat doesn’t dry out by the time the dark meat is done. The gremolata and the baste add a ton of flavor and keep everything juicy.

Spatchcocked Chicken with Gremolata

1 3-5 pound roasting chicken
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leafed parsley
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon (about 4 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Juice of 1 lemon (about 4 tablespoons)
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt


Prepare the gremolata by putting the salt and garlic in a food processor and pulsing until the garlic is minced. Add the remaining ingredients, except the chicken, and give them a whirl until they are well-combined.

Clean and rinse the bird, then pat it dry. Place the bird in front of you, breast side down. Spatchcock the bird by cutting up through the backbone with either a pair of kitchen shears or a sharp chef’s knife. Some recipes recommend cutting out the backbone entirely, but I think that just cutting though it once is enough.

Spread the bird open like a book and flip it over. Press down on the center of the bird until it lies pretty flat. If it won’t flatten, flip the bird back over and use a knife to nick the keel bone right between the breasts and try again.

Put the chicken in a Ziploc bag and coat with the gremolata. Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, overnight is best.

Set your grill up for a direct cook over medium-high (400°F) heat. I like using a raised grid on the Big Green Egg to help even out the cooking temperatures.

Prepare the baste by melting the butter and adding the salt and lemon. I really like the Lodge Cast-Iron Melting Pot for this.

Put the chicken on the grill skin side up and close the lid. Cook for about 15 minutes, then baste. Cook for another 15 minutes, then flip and baste. Flip again so the skin side is up and baste. Continue to cook, basting every 10 minutes or so,  until the thighs hit 180°F internal – about an hour total cook time.

Remove the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into quarters and serve.

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