If you like sweet, spicy, orange, garlic, ginger and soy flavors, you will love this deliciously saucy spatchcock roast chicken with teriyaki glaze. It makes a lovely Friday night or holiday dinner.
There’s a lot to like about this recipe – bold flavors, the generous amount of teriyaki glaze for extra drizzling and the attractive presentation. If you’re not a big orange fan, you can replace the orange juice with pineapple juice.
What is a spatchcocked chicken?
A spatchcocked chicken – also called butterflied chicken or flattened chicken – is a chicken with its backbone removed. It’s pretty easy to do on your own if you have good kitchen scissors/shears. Instructions are in the recipe. And here is a video on how to spatchcock a chicken.
The technique is simple. Cut along both sides of the backbone. Remove it. Then turn over the chicken and press down firmly on the breast to flatten it. That’s it.
If you’re asking yourself “why bother with a spatchcocked chicken?” rather than a whole chicken, here’s why:
- More even cooking. The legs and breasts will be done at the same time. Much harder to do with a whole chicken
- A much shorter cooking time. A spatchcocked chicken will cook 30-40% less time.
- Much easier to cut up when cooked.
I love to use kosher chicken which is already brined. It’s more flavorful and juicy, especially with the added deliciousness of the marinade. But any roasting chicken will do fine.
As for the teriyaki glaze, the recipe makes a lot. You’ll have plenty extra for drizzling on the chicken or your sides. Or save any leftovers for a stir fry. The orange flavors are quite intense so modify to your tastes.
- For the chicken:
- If you are intimidated by spatchcocking a chicken or can’t be bothered, you can buy one in most supermarkets now (it will cost a bit more). Or ask your butcher to butterfly it for you.
- Use chicken pieces instead – breasts, wings, legs and/or thighs.
- For marinating:
- The marinating deepens the flavors, but it you’re short on time, just skip it.
- Or, a trick I use a lot is to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- For the aromatics:
- Instead of mincing garlic and grating fresh ginger, you can use frozen cubes or buy the stuff in the jars. You can even use 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder instead of the two teaspoons minced garlic.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Substitute the orange juice with pineapple juice.
- Skip the orange zest if you don’t want the orange flavor as intense.
- Use 6 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup instead of the 1/2 cup brown sugar.
- Vegetarian option: Skip the chicken and use the sauce for vegetable stir fry (half the amount would be enough).
- The chicken can be prepared and marinated a day ahead.
- You can also roast the chicken an hour ahead and cover it with foil to keep warm. Then just before serving, brush on the teriyaki glaze and broil for a few minutes.
Want to try a different spatchcock chicken recipe?
Here are two others you might like.
Spatchcock Roast Chicken with Teriyaki Glaze
- 1 whole chicken 3-4 lbs (1.36-1.81 kg), spatchcocked/butterflied Note 1 (I like to use kosher chicken, but any roasting chicken will work fine)
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- Garnish: chopped parsley, green onion or pea shoots and grated orange zest if desired
Orange Teriyaki Marinade/Sauce
- 1/3 cup soy
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 oranges, juice (1/2 cup) and zest (2 teaspoons) Note 2 1 tsp zest for marinade; reserve other tsp for garnish
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, Note 3
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 1/2 tsp sriracha hot sauce (for mild spice) or more to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- HEAT OVEN TO 400F. Line roasting pan with foil (for easy clean up) and spray with oil.
- MARINATE CHICKEN: Place all marinade ingredients (except 1 teaspoon of orange zest) in a large ziploc bag and squish to combine. Add spatchcocked chicken, seal bag and massage to coat well. Marinate for 4-6 hours or overnight in fridge or, quicker, at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- ROAST CHICKEN: Remove chicken from marinade, pat dry with a paper towel and place on roasting pan. Pour marinade into a small saucepan and set aside. Lightly sprinkle the chicken with salt. Roast for 30-40 minutes, depending on size of chicken. Instant thermometer should read 150F in thickest part of breast. You will finish cooking in broiler. Remove chicken from oven. Pour off grease from pan. (At this point, you can make the glaze and do the final steps just before you're ready to serve.)
- MAKE TERIYAKI GLAZE/SAUCE: While chicken is roasting, whisk cornstarch into marinade in saucepan. Bring marinade to a boil and boil for 2 minutes until sauce is thickened. Lower heat and cook for another 2 minutes. If glaze is too thick, add a bit of water. Brush some of glaze over roasted chicken. Reserve remaining 1/2-3/4 cup to pass with the chicken later.
- BROIL CHICKEN WITH GLAZE FOR 4-6 MINUTES: Turn oven to Broil. Place oven grill 10-12 inches from broiler (top of the oven). Return glazed chicken to oven. Broil for 4-6 minutes until browned on top (be careful not to let it burn). Chicken should read 155F in the breast or 165F in the thigh with instant thermometer when done.
- CUT AND SERVE: Transfer chicken to cutting board. Brush with more glaze. Let chicken rest 5-7 minutes. Cut into quarters or eighths. Garnish with remaining orange zest and chopped green onions or parsley and serve. Drizzle on extra sauce or pass it on the side. Serve from cutting board or move to a platter.
- To spatchcock (butterfly or flatten) a chicken: Turn chicken over, breast side down. Using a sharp kitchen scissors, remove the backbone by cutting along the length of the backbone on one side, then the other. Turn the chicken over and press down hard so that the chicken lies flat with breasts and legs all on one level. Discard backbone or use to make soup/broth. Video on video on how to spatchcock a chicken. Shortcut: Buy a chicken already flattened/butterflied/spatchcocked.
- Instead of orange juice: use pineapple or apple juice. Skip the zest.
- Brown sugar substitute: You can use 6 tbsp honey or maple syrup instead.
- Make Ahead: The chicken can be prepared and marinated a day ahead. You can also roast the chicken an hour ahead and cover it with foil to keep warm. Then just before serving, glaze and broil it for a few minutes.