Spatchcock Chicken with Tarragon Sauce

by Emily Kemme
Spatchcock Roasted chicken with tarragon sauce

Roasted chicken is my go-to comfort food but chicken roasted in the oven doesn’t always get as crispy brown as you might like. Additionally, the white and dark meat cook at varying speeds, resulting in dried out breast meat. The solution is to spatchcock the chicken and pan roast it.

Not familiar with the term “spatchcock”? All it means is the chicken is cut in half next to the backbone, leaving the breastbone intact to hold it together. There’s no need to remove the backbone. The result of this hands-on time with a whole chicken is you’ve created more contact spots for the chicken to touch the pan — and get browned and crispy!

Pan-roast the chicken in a cast iron skillet, using the pan drippings to create a tarragon lemon pan sauce. Serve next to roasted root veggies. They’re easy to prepare. Just toss together a mixture of carrots, cauliflower florets and peeled, golden beets, add olive oil and roast according to directions below.

It’s easy to create this healthy, home-cooked bistro style meal.

Spatchcock Chicken with Tarragon Sauce Ingredients

For Roasted Chicken:

One 3 -4 lb roasting chicken, cut in half near the backbone, breastbone snapped

salt and pepper liberally

For Tarragon Sauce:

2 T minced fresh tarragon

1 lemon, juiced and strained

2 tsp Dijon mustard

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup dry white wine

3 T unsalted butter

For Roasted Root Vegetables:

1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch sections

1 cauliflower head, stem, leaves and tough heart removed, cut into florets

3 golden beets, peeled and diced into 1 inch chunks

2 T olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

spatchcock chicken

Spatchcocking a chicken creates more spots where heat can get to the flesh. It cooks faster and you’ll be able to control the amount of crisp to the skin.

Cook the recipe:

To Roast Chicken:

Salt and pepper chicken and place on baking sheet in refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours to dry brine and tenderize.

Heat oven to 400°F.

Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken skin side down for 10 minutes until skin is crisped. Flip chicken with skin side up. Place in oven and roast until chicken registers 160°F with probe thermometer, about 40 minutes.

Remove chicken to clean plate, cover loosely with foil and let rest.

To Roast Vegetables:

Heat oven to 400°F.

Note: You can prepare the vegetables and roast chicken in the same oven. Just coordinate the cooking times and allow enough pan space for each.

Toss vegetables with olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread on baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes.

For Tarragon Pan Sauce:

While chicken is resting, deglaze pan with wine, scraping up browned bits. Bring up heat to boil and reduce liquid to 1/3 cup. Add lemon juice and mustard, stirring to incorporate. Add tarragon and salt and pepper to taste. Add butter to skillet and simmer, stirring, until sauce coats the back of a spoon.

Serves 2-4.


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spatchcock chicken

Create this bistro style meal at home to serve family or guests. Roast chicken is an easy favorite!

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