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Spatchcock Mexican Spiced Chicken

Updated: Feb 16

Spatchcock is the process of removing the backbone and flattening out the chicken for a moist, evenly cooked, bone-in chicken.

Mexican spiced chicken is full of flavor and spice, but not spicy. This chicken can be served with rice and beans, or in a taco with salsa and avocado. Spatchcocking helps cut down cooking time while keeping in all the flavor of a bone-in chicken.

Never done spatchcocking before? It’s easy! All you need is a sharp kitchen knife or kitchen scissors, and a large cutting board. Place chicken breast side down, start at the top neck on one side and work down the spine, then on to the next side.

Spatchcock Mexican Spiced Chicken


  • 1 whole chicken

  • 3 tablespoons ghee*

  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder

  • 1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoons chili powder

  • ½ teaspoon cumin

  • ½ teaspoon sugar

  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

*Don’t have ghee? Tallow or butter would work great for this recipe.


  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Using kitchen scissors or butchering knife, turn chicken breast-side down and cut along both sides of backbone to spatchcock it.

  3. In a small saucepan on low heat, melt ghee to liquid and add all spices (garlic powder through cracked pepper).

  4. Place chicken breast-side up in an oven-safe dish.

  5. Baste with spice mixture. Pour over and spread evenly over skin with either a basting brush or with hands. If using hands, they should be washed right away after before moving on to next step. Cover.

  6. Cook in the oven for 40-45 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re using butter, check at 25-30 minutes and cover with foil if the meat is getting too dark.

  7. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before carving and serving.

Mar Vivienda is a home cook and recipe developer passionate about celebrating farm fresh ingredients and adding beautiful nourishing meals to the family dinner table. You can find her on Instagram at @MarVivienda.

Tried this recipe? Let us know what you think and what you paired it with!

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