Sunday Roast : Spatchcock Chicken!

Every day is a Sunday Roast day right now! Which is why Exec Chef Joseph from Karma Kandara, is sharing his epic recipe for his favourite roast chicken dish. ‘It’s ideal for all occasions from Sunday roast to summer BBQ sessions,’ he says, adding that it’s juicy and packed with flavour with wonderfully crispy skin. P.S. This spatchcock chicken will be a feature on the Karma Beach weekend menu.

  • Yields:4 Portions
  • Prep Time:30 Minutes
  • Brine Time:4 hours
  • Roast Time:40 minutes
  • Enjoy Time:A Lifetime!

Spatchcock Chicken

Grilled plums, roasted radish, rocket, hazelnuts, chicken juice croutons

Step by step recipes to follow:
  • How to prepare spatchcock butchering.
  • Chicken Brine
  • Toasted Hazelnuts
  • Infused Clarified Butter for basting
  • Balsamic Reduction
  • Grilled Plums (or any other stone fruit you prefer.)
  • Balsamic Dressing
  • Roast Chicken
    • Sub recipe: Roasted Radish
  • Chicken Juice Croutons
What is Spatchcock?


Spatchcock refers to a style of butchering.
  • First, with a sharp knife remove the back bone of the chicken by cutting along both sides of the spine.
  • Turn the bird over and make an incision gently through the back of the sternum bone.
  • Do not cut through the breast meat. Cutting through the sternum will make it easier to press the chicken open flat.
  • The benefits to processing the chicken in this way will:
    • Speed up the cooking process.
    • Help roast the bird evenly.
    • Final presentation.
Brining the chicken:

What does brining mean?

When you brine, you add moisture to a protein. In this recipe we are using chicken however it is a great technique for pork, any game meat and especially turkey. Brining a protein before roasting will help prevent whatever you are cooking from drying out as well as adding additional flavour.

There are two types of brining, a wet brine and a dry brine. In this recipe I use both. Primarily because my oven at home has inconsistent heat. If you would like to save time you can eliminate the wet brine process and skip to the dry brine. Just take all of the spices in the wet brine and add to your chicken in the part where you remove it from the wet brine.

There are two key ingredients to a brine. Salt & Sugar. The salt will denature/ breakdown the protiens in your meat making it more tender and draw out a little bit of moisture along the way. By adding sugar to the brine it will add moisture back to the meat.

Note: when wet brining, it is important that all of the meat is completely submerged in the brine as show in photo below.

Chicken Wet Brine:
  • 60 grams
  • 40 grams
  • 100 grams
  • 150 grams
  • 1 Tablespoon
  • 2 teaspoons
  • 2 Tablesoons
  • 1 Tablespoon
  • 2 teaspoon
  • 2 teaspoon
  • 1 Tablespoon
  • 2 ea.
  • 500 ml
  • 1500 ml
  • 3 sprigs
  • 2 Tablespoons
  • In a large pot combine the salt, sugar, garlic, shallots with all of the dried spices and hot water.
  • Bring up to a simmer and turn off heat. Do not reduce. Let stand for 20 minutes.
  • Add the cold water, fresh rosemary and balsamic vinegar.
  • Add the spatchcocked chickens, ensure they are completely submerged in the brine.
  • Cover with lid and place in the fridge for up to four hours.
  • Remove from the brine and rinse under cold water.
  • Pat dry with a paper towel.

Dry Brine Method:

  • Once the chickens have been removed from the brine, rinsed and patted dry season with salt and black pepper. Let stand for 45 minutes. During this time, you begin your additional prep of veggies, balsamic glaze, toasting hazelnuts etc.

If you would like to omit the wet brine process all together:

  • Omit the Salt & Sugar
  • Reduce the quantities till 25% of all the dried spices, shallots & garlic.
  • Place in a mixing bowl with balsamic vinegar.
  • Add 2 T. of premium extra virgin olive oil, mix well.
  • Season the chicken on both sides with Salt, Black Pepper & a pinch of sugar. Be generous, but not much more than you would normally season a chicken with.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 45 minutes to an hour.

Note: I have not tried cooking chicken in my oven without the wet brine process. This method will work, but I prefer the juiciness and soaked in flavour of the wet brine technique. To me it’s worth the wait time.

While your chicken is resting, begin the little prep!

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Step 2: Toast Hazelnuts.

  • 100 Grams
  • Place the hazelnuts on a cutting board and rough chop.
  • Put on a baking sheet and in the oven for 3-5 minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature until ready to use.

Note: I used hazelnuts with skin because although this dish has elegant flavour, I like the rustic simplicity of it. Having some toasted hazelnut skins in the finished salad is a nice touch.

Infused Clarified Butter

Step 3: Prepare Infused Clarified Butter (Searing and basting the chicken).

  • 400 grams
  • 30 grams
  • 20 grams
  • 2 stems
  • 1 teaspoon
  • 1 gram
  • Place all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and warm over low heat. Do not boil.
  • Once the butter is melted, remove from heat and set aside.

Note: Clarified butter is butter which has been heated and the milk solids removed. You can purchase this in fine grocery stores or substitute with ghee. You can also make it from scratch if you want to take the extra step.

Bread for Chicken Juice Croutons

Step 4: Prepare the Bread for Chicken Juice Croutons.

  • 375 grams
  • Cut bread into large pieces about the size of your thumb. Place in a roasting pan as in picture.
  • Arrange the crusty pieces in the center of the roasting pan. This will help suspend your chickens when roasting.
  • While your chicken is roasting the bread will act like a sponge and soak up all the juices.

Note: The better the bread, the better the crouton! Don’t skimp on this ingredient. Buy from a local bakery. If you can’t find a country bread/ boule use any bread with a firm crust such as baguette.

Step 5: Making the Balsamic Glaze.

  • 236 ml
  • 25 grams
  • Combine the sugar and vinegar in a sauté pan and reduce over medium heat until thick. 65%
  • Remove from heat and transfer to a dish to cool in the fridge.

Marinating & Grilling Plums

Step 6: Marinating & Grilling Plums.

  • 5ea.
  • 20 ml
  • 40 ml
  • 2 stems
  • pinch
  • 2 teaspoons
  • 2 teaspoons
  • Preheat barbecue grill to high heat. Leave the lid down until ready to use.
  • Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and let stand for 30 minutes.
  • Place on the grill cut side down for 3-4 minutes, turn and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Flip the plums over and repeat this process.
  • Do not overcook the plums. You want the flavour of the grill but still to be firm for texture.
  • Remove the plums from the grill and place back in mixing bowl until ready to serve.

the plums on the grill

Step 7: Balsamic Dressing.

  • 30ml
  • 2 teaspoons
  • 1 Tablespoon
  • 60ml
  • 20ml
  • pinch
  • To Taste
  • Place the vinegar, mustard and date syrup in a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with a wire whisk.
  • While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil to create an emulsion.
  • Repeat this process with the extra virgin olive oil.
  • Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  • Set aside until ready to use.

Note: I discovered date syrup on a recent trip to Penang Malaysia and I absolutely love it. If you do not have access to date syrup, you can substitute with honey.

Step 8: Preparing the Radishes.

  • 200 grams
  • Wash the radishes under cold water and cur in half.
  • Reserve until ready to add to the roasting pan of the chicken.

Step 9: Preparing the Rocket.

  • ½ bag from grocery store
  • Pick the firm stems off of the rocket only leaving the tender leaves.
  • Rinse in a bowl of cold water and then spin in a salad spinner to remove any excess water.
  • Place in a large mixing bowl covered and in the fridge until ready to use.

Searing & Roasting the Chicken

Step 10: Searing & Roasting the Chicken.

  • In a 30cm non-stick pan warm up 30 ml of the infused clarified butter over medium heat.
  • Add one chicken skin side down and lightly brown as in picture.
  • At this time the entire house will start to smell amazing!
  • Once the chicken has browned on the skin side only, place on top of sourdough bread.
  • Repeat this process with the second chicken.
  • You may need to top off with a little more clarified butter.

Note: only use the butter, do not sear with the herbs, garlic or hazelnuts as they may burn in the process.

  • Once your chickens are browned and ready to go into the oven. With a pastry brush, brush the skins of the chickens liberally with more of the infused clarified butter.
  • Add the radishes around the outside of the chickens. This will make it easier to remove them once cooked.
  • Place the chicken in the oven for 45 minutes repeating the basting step every 10-15 minutes.
  • Turn up the heat of the oven to 220 degrees and continue to cook the chicken for another 10 minutes or until the skin crisps up and the juices run clear.
  • Once the chickens have cooked, remove them from the oven with the radishes.

Step 11: Finishing the Chicken Juice Croutons.

  • Now that the chickens and radishes have been removed from the roasting pan, all that is left is the chicken juice soaked bread.
  • With a wooden spoon, mix the bread in the roasting pan soaking up any juices that may be caught in the corners of the pan.
  • Ensure that the bread is thoroughly coated and no dry parts.
  • If the bread is still dry, you can add a little bit of the infused clarified butter to moisten it up.
  • Place back into the oven and continue to cook until “slightly” crispy on the outside yet still soft in the middle.
  • Remove from the oven and transfer to a bowl until ready to serve.

Presenting the Magic!

Step 12: Presenting the Magic!

Since this is a variation of a Sunday roast, I like to present this dish family style in the center of the table for wow factor! As you can see Mishka our German Shepard couldn’t wait to start begging at the table as she was tortured for the past hour with all the wonderful smells coming from the kitchen!

  • On a large wooden board place the chickens on both ends.
  • Toss the rocket with enough of the balsamic dressing to lightly dress the leaves. Season with salt & pepper. Place in the center of the board keeping it separate from the heat of the chicken so not to wilt.
  • Arrange the grilled plums and roasted radish artistically around the board.
  • Drizzle with the Balsamic Glaze.
  • Add the chicken juice croutons and finally the toasted hazelnuts for garnish.
  • If you can find Hazelnut oil, a little final drizzle of this would be awesome, but not necessary as this simple chicken dish is packed with flavours!
  • Once the family is seated and Mishka is waiting patiently under the table, cut each Chicken in half and present as such…

Chicken in half

This is absolutely my favourite roast chicken recipe. Juicy and packed with flavour with crispy skin!

The rocket salad is a nice light compliment heightening the earthy roasted chicken with bitter roasted radishes to balance out the sweet grilled plums!

I hope you enjoyed the step by step process and have the confidence to try it for your family!


  1. I prepared this yesterday for our Sunday lunch, there is a lot of work required but its delicious and well worth the effort, everyone loved it including the slightly unripened Plums, flavors married very well together. Thank you

    1. Wow!! that’s wonderful Ms. McGrath, we are delighted to know that recipe was enjoyed by all. Do share pics if you have on the Karma Group or Karma Odyssey Facebook / Instagram channels and tag #KarmaCommunity. Cheers

    2. Greetings from Bali Sue!

      Im really happy to hear you enjoyed our new Spatchcock Chicken recipe! I hope to be cooking it for you at Karma Beach soon! Stay safe and happy cooking! Joseph

  2. Our Sunday Roast Day was yesterday on Tuesday and it was delicious! I followed step by step Josephs recipe and all the family loved it (wow the bread soaked with the chicken juice….I took some of my homemade country bread) and nothing left!
    Thank you so much Joseph for the wonderful detailed recipe. My husband and I remembered our wonderful stay in KK with the gorgeous surprise dinner in „Di Mare“ every night…….kindest regards

    1. That’s great to hear Karin, we are so glad that the whole family was able to enjoy the results of your hard work, the homemade country bread sounds like a real treat! Don’t forget to share pictures and memories with us on our Karma Group / Karma Odyssey Facebook pages using #KarmaCommunity. Cheers

    2. Greetings from Bali Karen!

      Thank you so much! My favorite part of this dish is the croutons as well! They are fun to throw in a salad the next day- if there’s any left!

      I Look forward to cooking up some new dishes for you at Karma soon!

      Stay safe and happy cooking!


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