Spatchcocked Adobo Chicken

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Have you heard of spatchcocking a chicken before? Kind of a funny name, I know, but it refers to the technique of cutting out the backbone and cooking a whole chicken flat. Let me tell you, it will revolutionize how you think of cooking a whole chicken–a spatchcocked bird cooks in less time, more evenly, and all of that delicious skin is able to brown. The best part–no more overcooked breast meat! Having used this as my method of choice for the last few months, I can tell you I am not going back!

I was inspired to come up with an AIP inspired adobo seasoning after receiving some from Bill and Hayley with my review copy of Make It Paleo II — so tasty! You can sub your favorite dry spice rub for this recipe, it would be fabulous with any combination of herbs and spices. If you are intimidated at the idea of cutting the backbone out of your chicken, don’t be. All you need is a pair of kitchen shears. Don’t use a knife for this task — it will dull the blade cutting through all of that cartilage and bone. If you’d like a visual how-to, check out this tutorial.

5.0 from 6 reviews
Spatchcocked Adobo Chicken
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6 servings
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 3-4 lb pasture-raised chicken
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Combine the sea salt, oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Rinse the chicken thoroughly under cold water. Place the chicken breast-down in the sink, and using a pair of chicken shears, cut the backbone out of the chicken, starting to cut just to the right of the tail and then repeating the process just to the left of the tail. Reserve the backbone for broth-making. With the chicken still breast-down in the sink, look for the sternum--a large piece of cartilage in the middle. Pierce or cut it with the shears. Now, flip the chicken over, flattening the breast.
  4. Dry the chicken off thoroughly with a paper towel and grease the bottom of an oven-safe skillet or roasting dish with some coconut oil.
  5. Place the chicken in the skillet, skin side up, and rub all over with the coconut oil first, and the spice mixture second. Make sure to coat every last bit!
  6. Cook in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the breast meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.


About Mickey Trescott

Mickey Trescott is a co-founder here at Autoimmune Wellness and a co-teacher of AIP Certified Coach. After recovering from her own struggle with both Celiac and Hashimoto’s disease, adrenal fatigue, and multiple vitamin deficiencies, Mickey started to write about her experience to share with others and help them realize they are not alone in their struggles. She has a Master's degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Nutrition, and is the author of three best-selling books--The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook, and The Nutrient-Dense Kitchen. You can watch her AIP cooking demos by following her on Instagram.


  • Janis E. McKinstry says

    I made this recipe for my family gathering on Easter and it was so easy and very well received. I got raves about how tender and tasty it was. The hardest thing about this recipe is cutting the backbone out (I need a new kitchen scissors) and after that it was easy peasy! Delicious! Thank you for all that you do for us! I have 5 autoimmune dis-eases and have healed them all with AIP. Hooray!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Thanks for the feedback Janis, and congrats on your success!

  • Bebe says

    Thank you for the rub recipe! I love doing my roast chickens, and turkeys, this way. I make it even easier by only cutting along one side of the backbone, thus leaving it attached but still easily flattened. I love the meat along the back, especially those two ovoid pieces, which in my house are called ‘oysters’ and are usually reserved for kitchen staff.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Once you start you can’t go back right? I almost rarely cook poultry any other way. Glad you enjoy this technique as well. Cheers!

    • Jody says

      I did the same thing Bebe! Love the oysters too. The only drawback to this is that you don’t get to use the back to make broth. Oh well!

  • Jasmine says

    This looks great! Could I use the leftover bones to make chicken broth or would the short roasting time effect that? Thanks!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Jasmine–absolutely use the bones for broth! I almost always re-use bones that have been cooked previously. Good luck!

      • Jasmine says

        Thanks so much, Mickey! We had this for supper last night and it was so good!

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  • Jody says

    Loving this recipe! Just tried it tonight. I didn’t have the listed spices so I substituted and it still turned out great! It’s cold here so my coconut oil was hard to rub into the chicken, but it still….you guessed it, turned out great!

    Can you please recommend a cookbook that covers the elimination phase and the reintroduction phase, and provides recipes for both? With the recipes being as good as the ones on this site? Thank you!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Jody! My book, linked in the sidebar, The Autoimmune Paleo cookbook has all elimination phase recipes. Angie’s book, The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook, has recipes for both phases. Hope it helps!

  • Devona says

    I have always roasted my chickens whole, this is so much better, so much tastier, and so much faster! I will never go back. Thank you so much Mickey!!!!

  • Toni says

    Boy did this recipe make my kitchen smell great tonight! And the chicken tasted just as great-so juicy and flavorful. Thank you for sharing such an easy dish. I had a very hectic day at work, and this was the perfect recipe to work in an easy and nutritious meal.

  • I thought I had roast chicken down, but this recipe needs to be added to the rotation for sure. I used a full sheet pan and at the halfway mark I scattered rainbow carrots and romanesco around the bird. Voila, sheet pan dinner. The whole family loved it–especially the skin bacon (as my daughter calls it). Thanks for another stellar recipe, Mickey.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Nicolette, so happy you and your crew enjoyed! It really is so easy you’ll wonder why you ever cooked chicken another way!

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