Rick Stein At Home: spatchcocked chicken with tarragon

A spatchcocked chicken roasts much quicker and every part is evenly cooked.

spatchcock chicken
James Murphy


1 free-range chicken (about 1.75kg)
90g butter, softened
3 or 4 tarragon sprigs, leaves stripped from stalks and chopped
2 large garlic cloves, grated or very finely chopped
Salt and black pepper

75ml white wine
300ml chicken stock
30g cold butter, cubed
2 tarragon sprigs, leaves stripped from stalks and chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. To spatchcock the chicken, place it on a board, breast-side down. Using poultry shears or heavy scissors, cut down either side of the backbone and remove it. Turn the bird over and press down to flatten.
  2. Mix 75g of the butter with the tarragon and garlic. Loosen the skin on the chicken breasts and thighs, then gently use your fingers to create a pocket between the meat and skin. Spread the mixture over the meat taking care not to break the skin. When well covered, smooth the skin down. Anoint the outside with the remaining butter and season all over.
  3. Place the chicken in a roasting tin that’s just large enough to hold it. Roast for 40-50 minutes or until the internal temperature is 70C. Remove from the oven, place it on a warmed plate and cover with foil. Leave to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  4. To make the gravy, place the roasting tin on the hob and add the wine. Allow it to bubble up and boil, then add the stock. Stir to lift any tasty bits that have stuck to the tin and reduce heat to a simmer. Season to taste and whisk in the butter a cube at a time and add the tarragon. Serve with the chicken, sautéed potatoes and green beans or a salad.

TIP Keep the bones to make stock. You can freeze them to use later.

Now buy Rick’s book

rick stein at home
Our recipes are from Rick Stein at Home by Rick Stein, to be published by BBC Books on 16 September, price £26. To pre-order a copy for £22.10 with free p&p until 26 September, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3308 9193.