This oven roasted spatchcock chicken in a spicy yogurt sauce boasts thin and crispy skin and the juiciest meat! And the entire chicken is cooked in 45 minutes!
No matter what season of the year we are in I find myself craving vibrant flavours to perk up our evening dinners. I love when a humble chicken can be elevated to something new and exciting.
This chicken in a spicy yogurt sauce does just that! Its lively, spicy flavours paired with a creamy sauce nourishes and excites the senses.
It also brings luscious, velvety smooth goodness we all need at the end of a long day.
I was debating whether to roast this chicken whole or spatchcock it and finally decided on the latter. After all, I was after a quick dinner and a maximum crispness of the skin!
How to Spatchcock a Chicken
The interesting terms is nothing more but a cooking techniques that saves time. Did you know that cooking your chicken open flat like a book cuts your cooking time in half?
Spatchcock chicken also known as butterflied chicken is a method of preparing a whole chicken for either roasting or grilling. To make it flat, the back bone of the bird is being cut out with either kitchen shears or a sharp knife.
The rest is simple. Flip the chicken oven and firmly press on the breast with a palm of your hand until you hear a crack. Continue pushing until the chicken is flat.
If you are intimidated by the process, don’t be! I have handy photo collage to guide you through it and detailed instructions in the recipe card below.
When I set out to create this recipe I wanted a chicken recipe, that was reminiscent of summer barbecues but cooked in the oven. And to my utter joy I achieved just that! How did I do it? Well I double-sauced it!
First, I marinated it for an hour in a very simple marinade but with an addition of smoked paprika that created an allusion the chicken had been grilled.
And later, I smothered it in a spicy yogurt sauce that gave that charred look we absolutely adore in the summer.
Why this recipe works
When a chicken is spatchcocked not only does cook faster, it also cooks more evenly, so you don’t end up with juicy legs and dry breasts. The chicken comes out juicy on the inside with crispy and flavourful skin. What’s not to love?!
Just add a simple salad and maybe some couscous, hello easy side dish, and you are ready to roll! Tempted? I hope so!
Although I cooked my chicken in the oven, this recipe could be easily adapted for a BBQ. Follow the recipe as written up to step 5.
Instead of cooking it in the oven, grill the chicken on lower heat for about 40 minutes for 3lbs-4lbs bird. The internal temperature of the meat should register 165F/74C.
More Favourite Whole Chicken Recipes:
- Air Fryer Greek Whole Chicken
- Instant Pot Whole Chicken with Thai Glaze
- Spatchcock Roast Chicken in Breadcrumbs with Potatoes
- 3-4 lbs whole chicken
For the Marinade
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ lemon juice of
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 3 tbsp olive oil
For the Spicy Yogurt Sauce
- 250 ml/ 1 cup plain yogurt full fat
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp chilli flakes
- 3 tbsp parsley chopped
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- salt to taste
- To spatchcock a chicken place it breast side down and with a sharp knife or kitchen scissors cut along one side of a backbone then repeat with the other side. Remove the backbone and turn the bird the cut side down. Place the palm of your hand on the chicken breast and push down firmly to flatten it. Tuck the wing tips under the breasts to avoid burning. (See the photo guide in the post) Use the backbone to make a chicken stock or discard.
- Mix the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl or measuring cup and pour of the spatchcocked chicken, let it marinade for one hour in the refrigerator.
- Meanwhile preheat the oven to 450F/220C or 440F/200C on fan setting.
- Mix the ingredients for the spicy yogurt sauce in a small bowl and refrigerate until needed.
- When the chicken is finished marinating, cook the chicken in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Then take out and smother with 3-4 tbsp of the spicy yogurt sauce, cook for 15 minutes longer until the skin is crispy and the temperature of the thickest part of the breast reads 165F/74C. Let it rest for 15 minutes before carving it.
- Serve with the remaining spicy yogurt sauce.