Recipes // Main Dish Chicken and Turkey // Roast Spatchcock Chicken With Potatoes

Roast Spatchcock Chicken With Potatoes


By Maria Elia

4 servings

This is a Greek classic with a small twist: tender, lemon-roasted chicken and deliciously soft roast potatoes that soak up the pan juices like little sponges! If time permits, I’d urge you to brine your chicken first.

Serves 2–4, depending on hunger!


  • 1 x 3–31/4lb free-range chicken
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2lb potatoes, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, and then quartered
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock or water
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 9oz mixed greens, such as spinach, chard, dandelion, arugula, or Pickled Caper Leaves (page 153), if you have them


  1. You will need a good pair of kitchen scissors.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. First you need to spatchcock the chicken—it’s easy, I promise! Remove the wing tips from the chicken. Place the chicken on a cutting board, breast-side down, and cut along either side of the backbone to remove (you can freeze this along with the wing tips and use for stock). Turn the chicken over and then, using the palm of your hand, press down on the chicken to make it flat and until you hear it crack.
  3. Place the garlic in a mortar and pestle with a good pinch of sea salt and crush to a paste; add the oregano, bay leaf, olive oil, and half of the lemon juice and mix.
  4. Massage most of the mixture over the breast side of the chicken, getting right into the leg joints, then rub a little on the other side.
  5. (If you have time, and haven’t brined your chicken, pop it in the fridge and let it marinate for an hour. Make sure you remove it from the fridge half an hour before cooking, though.)
  6. Put the potatoes in a roasting pan, sprinkle with sea salt, and drizzle with olive oil and the remaining lemon juice. Place the chicken on top, breast-side up, and pour the stock or water around the edges.
  7. Place in the oven and cook for 45–50 minutes, basting occasionally, or until the skin is golden brown and the juices run clear when the thickest part of the chicken is pierced with a knife. Transfer the chicken to a warm plate, cover with foil, and let rest.
  8. Baste the potatoes and return to the top part of the oven for another 10 minutes, by which time they will be meltingly tender, golden, and will have soaked up some of the delicious pan juices.
  9. Transfer the potatoes to a warm platter and place the roasting pan on the stove over medium heat. Add the capers and greens and toss to wilt in the pan juices (if you’re using caper leaves, there’s no need to wilt). Adjust the seasoning and spoon over the potatoes.
  10. Cut the chicken into two or four depending on hunger. Place on top of the potatoes and serve.

Variation: You may also like to scatter with a little crumbled feta or replace the capers with olives.

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