Roast Split Chicken with Lemony Artichoke Sauce


I don’t know about you, but cooking a chunk of meat larger than the size of my head sometimes intimidates me. How do I get the thing to cook evenly? Do I need to rotate it? Breast side up or down? Will it implode like Clark Griswold’s turkey on Christmas Vacation? Ah, I have the perfect recipe for you..the chicken skin thin and crisp, the meat succulent and the sauce divine. Best of all, its so easy.

I was inspired by watching Joanne Weir’s cooking show on PBS last night. The secret is to split the bird, or spatchcock, by using sharp kitchen shears to cut out the backbone. With the whole bird on the cutting board, breast side down, take your shears and start at the tail end, about 1″ to the right of the backbone. Cut all the way up to the neck. Repeat on the other side of the backbone. Flip the bird over, and using the palms of your hands, push to flatten out the bird even more. The flatter, the better, as more of the surface will touch the hot pan and crisp the skin. See video of how to spatchcock the chicken.

The sauce is so simple and only takes minutes to finish!



Roast Split Chicken with Lemony Artichoke Sauce

Servings: 4 Prep Time: Cook Time:

Recipe adapted from Joanne Weir (television episode). You can either used fresh artichoke or canned artichoke. To trim fresh artichokes, see these step by step instructions.


2 tablespoons high heat cooking oil (canola, vegetable, peanut)
One 3.5 pound organic chicken, spatchcocked
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 whole artichoke, trimmed or 6 ounces drained canned artichoke hearts, sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly chopped parsley
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 lemon


1. Preheat your oven to 475F. On your stove top, heat a large oven safe frying pan on high heat (big enough to fit the bird, and one that can withstand high heat in the oven. I prefer cast iron). Swirl in oil. While the pan heats up, make sure your bird is patted as dry as possible. When the pan is very hot - gently place the bird SKIN side down in the pan. Season the top of bird with salt and pepper. Immediately place the entire pan in oven for 10 minutes.

2. Carefully remove hot pan from oven. flip the bird over. The skin should be beautifully golden and crisp. Generously season the skin side with salt and pepper. Return pan to the oven. Roast another 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven, place chicken on a plate and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.

3. Put the hot pan (careful! the pan is very hot still!) on the stovetop. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the pan drippings. Add the artichokes and fry until softened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, dried thyme, wine, lemon. Reduce the sauce by half, about 2 minutes more. Finish with a sprinkling of chopped parsley. Serve chicken with sauce.

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Comments 19

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  3. Christina

    I know you have a new favorite chicken, but I saw this one a while ago, and it was stuck in my head….must…make…chicken…

    Anyway, made it today for lunch for a few friends, and it was probably the moistest, tastiest, luscious, easiest, prettiest (that’s right) chicken I’ve ever made. Devoured it. Thanks for the inspiration!!! Now I have to get to the five million other recipes you have on here.

  4. alynna sg

    oh my this roasted chic recipe looks the best there is..!!im gonna cook it as soon as i get home from the supermarket…=p ooooooooo… sure its gonna be so SEDAP..
    p.s SEDAP in my 2nd language means tasty!

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  8. Deb

    My husband, who does not usually cook, is now an expert on this recipe. He has been making it every week for the last 2 months. He, and my two picky boys, LOVE this chicken! Thank you for getting us so excited about cooking at home again!

  9. Stephanie Brown

    Made this tonight… split chicken, iron skillet, the whole deal. Wow. I thought I was going to burn the house down at first there was so much smoke… then realized that my oven hasn’t been that hot in a while. LOL. I should be able to just sweep out the bottom and have a nice clean oven.

    Meanwhile, the chicken was amazing. Super crispy crust and nice and moist inside. Thanks!

  10. Anna

    This looks like a great recipe, but I don’t have a cast iron skillet, any other suggestions?

  11. Traci Badenhausen

    There is no recipe listed. My printer is down right now, so I was trying to write this recipe down (especially for the Lemony Artichoke Sauce), but there is no “recipe” listed…can you help?

  12. Wlee

    Txs a lot. I was looking for this recipe right after seeing the show- Cooking Class with Joanne Wier without any success. Even on the official website, this is not found inspite of a lot of other excellent recipes. I am so glad to see your posting today. Again, much thanks. WL

  13. SB

    I did the chicken portion of this recipe using chicken legs and added a dash of toasted almond oil to give a smoky quality to the meat. The cast iron pan–a twelve-inch one–was a bit heavy with the meat in it. As a child, my mother used her porcelain-lined 9″ X 13″ pan on the stove-top, and wish I had something like that; it would be lighter.

  14. Elle @ (Eat.Style.Play)

    I just made this…I guess my pan was too hot because the skin stuck and I burned my thumb forgetting haha, but it did some out delicious. I had a smaller chicken so I didn’t have to cook it as long which was great. I also made a rue (sp) with flour in the drippings, juiced a lemon and put lemon zest in there. The I poured white wine in, cooked it down until it got creamy and added tarragon. OMG sooooo good, poured it all over forgetting that the skin wouldn’t crispy but it still taste so good. I’ll probably never roast a whole chicken like I used to again.

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