Lemon and Herbes de Provence Spatchcocked Chicken + Leftover Soup

How do you put together a meal, sign school forms and change the channel all at the same time? The answer is simple: heat up leftovers + get someone else to manage the TV remote (what are the odds I’d get control of it anyway?).

With three crazy nights of the week where we need to arrive home from school/work, eat and be out the door in less than 30 minutes, leftovers have become my best friend.

Now that September is in full swing, you’ll find me cooking in bulk on the weekends and freezing the leftovers for one of these crazy nights, or making a Sunday night dinner that will provide the key ingredients for a second meal. I’ve been doing this for ages, but I recently discovered a great blog written by Saskia called 1=2. Saskia’s site is brilliant, with every post delivering on this life-saving concept of making a meal and planning for leftovers to prepare a second meal. (Be sure to check out Saskia’s site for some great 1=2 ideas.)

A roasted chicken is the perfect start to a two-for-one meal, as there are just so many meals that you can make with leftover chicken. One of my favourite ways to roast or grill a chicken is to spatchcock it. Before you get any ideas, you should know that this simply means to butterfly a chicken, or to take out the backbone and flatten it. The key benefit is that the chicken cooks faster and more evenly than when it is left in tact. Apparently, spatchcock is the traditional word for the French term “poussin”, which means a young chicken. Years ago, these little chickens were frequently  butterflied for faster cooking, and eventually flattened chickens were called spatchcocks.

Often I’ll make a simple chicken pot pie with leftover chicken, or a chicken and brocolli quiche. Sometimes I just add barbeque sauce and serve the tangy leftover chicken with mashed potatoes (preferably leftovers also) and vegetables. I recently used my leftover chicken and corn (from a Sunday night dinner) to make Avocado-Corn Chowder with Grilled Chicken, which comes together in about 10 minutes using leftovers.

If you have some good recipes on how to use leftover chicken, please be sure to share as I see many more crazy nights in my future! How about you?

Lemon and Herbes de Provence Spatchcocked Chicken

  • 4 lb chicken, spatchcocked
  • 2 lemons: zest one and slice the other
  • 2 to 3 tsp herbs de provence
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For instructions on how to spatchcock a chicken, you can watch this video (stop before cutting the flattened chicken in half) or follow the step-by-step photos here.

Rinse and thoroughly dry the chicken.

Breast side up, carefully separate the skin from the bird, taking care not to rip the skin. Insert two slices of lemon between the skin and the flesh on each half of the bird.

Using a pastry brush, coat the outside skin of the bird with the olive oil. Sprinkle the coated chicken with herbes de provence, lemon zest and salt & pepper to taste.

To Grill: Cook on a preheated barbeque for 45 to 50 minutes until internal termperature reads 180°.

To Roast in the Oven: Preheat oven to 425°. Place prepared chicken (spatchcocked, seasoned and stuffed with lemon as above) breast side up in a greased baking dish. Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, until internal temperature reads 180°. NOTE: When roasting, I like to use butter rather than oil to coat the chicken. I also like to mix a couple of teaspoons of butter with some fresh chopped parsley, thyme and rosemary and slip this between the skin and the flesh of the bird. This doesn’t work well when barbequing, as the butter drips on to the grill and catches fire.

Avocado-Corn Chowder with Grilled Chicken

For the orignial recipe, click here.

My modifications:

  • I reduced the water to 1 cup, as I find 1½ cups too watery and I reduced the orange juice to 1/3 cup rather than ½ cup.
  • Using left-over grilled chicken eliminates the need to follow the directions for cooking the chicken.
  • I used a couple pinches of crushed red pepper rather than ¼ tsp of ground red pepper.
  • I also omitted the chopped red pepper.
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40 Comments on “Lemon and Herbes de Provence Spatchcocked Chicken + Leftover Soup”

  1. Saskia says:

    Thank you SO much for the lovely mention! It has made my day. Your photos are gorgeous, and using leftover chook in a chowder sounds fabulous. Love the idea of adding avocado – that would certainly make for a super-creamy (and super-colourful) chowder. YUM.

    • You are most welcome Saskia. I’m really glad to have found you, and happy to share your site with my friends. Busy moms always welcome great tips on how to juggle meals during the week for the family. The chowder really is tasty!

  2. Now that the weather is a bit cooler, I’m definitely going to try my hand at a spatchcocked chicken!

  3. Your chicken looks simply gorgeous 😀
    The perfect way to warm up!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  4. Eva Taylor says:

    I love a roasted chicken for the very same reasons you do Barb, LEFT-OVERS! Plus it’s great hot or cold. I’ve seen spatchcocked chicken at a local independent grocery store on Jane and Annette but I’ve never cooked one this way. I think I’ll have to give it a go when we return in late September.
    Barcelona has summery weather so I’m really glad I brought my sandals and summer dresses to wear (I had my doubts in Vienna and Budapest). Great Internet in our apartment too.

  5. What a fantastic post! I love lemon chicken and I’m with you on the leftovers. I am doing this a lot since I bought my own house and started buying my own food! Fab idea though, I’m going to put it into practice this weekend as I’m roasting my first full chicken on my own. Nervous!

    • Don’t be nervous about roasting chicken! You’ll love how easy it is and how lovely and homey it feels in your hourse while you are making it. It’ll become a definite go-to meal for you! It is such an exciting time in your life — I’m so pleased for you.

  6. Karen says:

    You really are smart to be planning and cooking for a second meal with your busy schedule. I had a roasted chicken last night…there is always plenty for another meal. I usually make a sauce or gravy when using the leftover chicken for a different taste.

    • Thanks Karen. It’s funny how you start to get creative when life demands it. You know I really must try making sauces more often. It is a great way to change up the flavour and I can keep it simple for the girls if need be. Thanks for the idea!

  7. Norma Chang says:

    Since your chicken is spatchcocked, chances are you can roast more than 2 in the oven. Season each one differently, label accordingly before freezing, 1 = no repeat taste/flavor.

    • Norma, I like the way you think. That is a really terrific idea — especially the suggestion to use a different seasoning (as I tend to stick with the same seasonings over and over). I can definitely roast two spatchcocked chickens at the same time since they are nice and flat it would be easy to fit them on two separate shelves.

  8. Ali says:

    Left-overs are a life-saver! I often use roast chicken leftovers in a salad for lunch the next day. Your chicken dish looks delicious!

  9. I love and mostly do cook with the intention of leftovers or making something new with leftovers. It’s a great way to maximize effort, ingredients and taste appeal, isn’t it? Your spatchcock chicken and the chowder look amazing and I’ll have to try making chicken that way. Another way to use leftover chicken it to make Chicken Divan out of it, which also freezes well. 🙂

    • You’ve summed it up perfectly Betsy — it is a great way to maximize effort, ingredients and taste appeal. I always say that it is just as much work to prepare a large batch (that will serve several meals) as it is to make a small one. Would you believe that I’ve never made chicken divan? I just looked it up and see that it combines broccoli, chicken, a cream sauce and cheese. This has everything that the girls love. I must make this next time. Let me know if you have a recipe that you recommend!

  10. Beth says:

    Your chicken looks great, and I’ll have to check out the blog you mentioned. I’m always looking for ways to get two meals out of one!

  11. Kristy says:

    I’m with you on crazy nights and cooking in bulk on the weekends. This year feels even crazier than last! I love your method for roasting a chicken. I roasted my first one on Sunday. Unfortunately my oven was freaking out and it didn’t cook very evenly. This method may have helped. And what a brilliant idea…1=2!

    • One of the benefits of spatchcocking is that it cooks more evenly — so it may have helped. Sorry to hear that your oven isn’t working . . . that is never fun for an avid cook such as yourself (and family). Here’s to maintaining our sanity during busy weeknights!

  12. Perfect fall meal, I can’t wait to make it and have friends over to share it with.

  13. Thank you for the recipe and the link to Saskia’s blog. I know those crazy nights and the idea of planned leftovers sounds amazing

  14. Sissi says:

    Both the chowder and the chicken sound delicious. Thank you so much for teaching me a new word. I will remember it when I prepare your spatchcocked chicken 🙂

  15. I’m so looking forward to trying this.. silly me, I’ve been looking for an “already spatchcocked” chicken at the butchers.. I wondered where to find those cute flat chickens:D I love the whole concept of one meal prepares for another, if I could get more organized I wouldn’t have to grocery shop every day. This soup look is also perfect for fall and my avocado lovin’ daughter! xx

    • Barb, it’s not silly at all. I know of a local grocery store where they sell them flattened and flavoured — at quite a mark up mind you! I used to see them, but didn’t realize that they were “spatchcocked”. You could also get a butcher to spatchcock a chicken for you I’m sure — but it really is straightforward to do.I hope that you give it a try!

  16. Ameena says:

    I too am trying to juggle my weeknights…I’m not doing a very good job of it! Usually I end up picking up some sushi from Whole Foods or CPK but this is a much better option! Looks delicious.

  17. Karista says:

    I love roasted chicken and for the same reason many others love it. I make chicken tacos with leftover chicken, chicken enchiladas, and of course I love a good homemade chicken soup. Not terribly creative, but it gets my sassy gals to the table. 🙂

    • This is great. Betsy also recommended chichen divan, which I haven’t made before. Now I have a bunch of great options for leftover chicken to keep things fresh/new with the family. I need to try chicken enchiladas, which believe it or not I’ve never made either! This is why I love blogging!

  18. Love those perfect lemon cheeks stuffed under the skin and that amazing green of the chowder. No doubt incredibly fancy looking and tasty looking leftovers too 🙂

  19. […] a roast chicken on the weekend, while planning for a second meal with the left-overs. See my recent Lemon & Herb Spatchocked Chicken post for more details on this […]

  20. petit4chocolatier says:

    Love the chicken and those cute lemons! Then you prepared chowder; absolutely delicious!


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