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Roasted apple cider spatchcock chicken on a brown table, spoonful of savory sauce dripping onto chicken.
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5 from 14 votes

Roasted Apple Cider Spatchcock Chicken

This is the perfect fall meal. Covered in warm fall spices, this chicken is spatchcocked for quicker, more even roasting and is finished with a delicious apple cider gravy.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Dinner
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 479kcal


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 Tablespoon unsalted butter softened, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 small yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 orange, quartered
  • 1 ½-2 lbs petite potatoes
  • 1 ½ cups hard or nonalcoholic cider
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2-3 Tablespoon fresh sage, chopped


  • Pre-heat oven to 450°F.
  • Check the cavity of the bird to see if there are packaged innards. If so, remove them.
  • Rinse the outside and inside of the chicken with cold water. Pat dry.
  • Sprinkle generously with salt and store uncovered in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours, or overnight.
  • Place the chicken on a large cutting board breast-side down with the tail facing you. Using sturdy kitchen shears, cut along one side of the backbone. Then, cut along the other side of the backbone to remove. Flip and press down on the breast bone until the chicken flattens. You should hear a cracking. 
  • In at least a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or roasting pan, add the quartered onion, orange and petite potatoes. Place the chicken cut-side down on top. 
  • In a small bowl, mix the spices with 3 tablespoons of softened butter. Rub the butter-spice mixture all over the chicken skin as well as some underneath the skin on the breasts. 
  • Cook for 35 minutes. Pour in the apple cider and cook for another 10 minutes. Using an instant-read thermometer, check the temperature at the inner thigh. If it's 160-165°F, it's ready to pull. If not, continue cooking until it reaches that temperature range. 
  • If cooking in a cast-iron skillet, transfer the chicken and potatoes to a cutting board and cover with foil. If using a roasting pan, pour the drippings into a skillet and cover. Discard the onion and orange quarters.
  • Over medium heat, whisk in cornstarch into the drippings. Keep whisking to prevent any lumps. Cook until the drippings thicken into a gravy. 
  • Cut the chicken into pieces and top with fresh sage. Serve with apple cider gravy. 


  • Start step 2, 3, and 4 the day before making the chicken. Then, store the chicken uncovered in the refrigerator. This gives the skin ample time to dry out, which makes for crispy skin. If that's not possible, it's fine but prepping ahead of time to get that extra crispy skin is a plus! It's also one less step you have to worry about when trying to get dinner on the table.
  • When you spatchcock a, every part is cooked more evenly and it yields the most juicy and flavorful meat, similar to the results of a rotisserie chicken. 
  • If you're not comfortable rinsing the whole chicken due to the risk of spreading bacteria, skip that step. 
  • I always use a digital meat thermometer when making this dish to ensure I don't overcook the meat.
  • The word "spatchcock" is often referred to as "butterflied". While similar, it's not the same. I butterfly a chicken breast. I spatcock a whole chicken or turkey.
  • You can use a hard apple cider, but feel free to use a non alcoholic cider if that's more your style.


Calories: 479kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 167mg | Potassium: 789mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 505IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2.3mg