Sage butter spatchcock chicken with shallot & Madeira gravy

Sage butter spatchcock chicken with shallot & Madeira gravy

Roasting a spatchcock chicken is a speedy way to achieve beautiful golden skin while ensuring juicy meat. 

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Gluten free
  • Serves4
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare20 mins
  • Cook1 hr
  • Total time1 hr 20 mins
  • Plusresting


  • kg whole chicken
  • 90g unsalted butter (60g softened, 30g cold and cubed)
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, zest
  • ½ x 20g pack sage, 1⁄2 very finely chopped
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 echalion shallots, peeled and halved
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 100ml Madeira (or Marsala)


  1. Preheat the oven to 230°C, gas mark 8. To spatchcock the chicken, use kitchen scissors to remove the backbone by cutting down the length of it on both sides (discard the bone). Turn the chicken breast-side up and push firmly down on the centre of the bird. Use your fingers to find a gap between the skin and the flesh at the head end of the bird, then separate the skin from the meat. Do the same at the base of the thighs, working underneath the skin of the drumsticks.

  2. Pile 60g softened butter, the lemon zest, chopped sage, pepper and a pinch of salt on a chopping board; mash together with a fork. Slide the flavoured butter between the skin and meat of the chicken, pushing it evenly around the flesh.

  3. Arrange the shallots on a deep, lipped baking tray. Lay the chicken on top, breast-side up. Sprinkle the skin with the salt, then roast for 45-50 minutes until crisp, golden and cooked through (the juices will run clear when pierced with a skewer in the thickest part of the thigh and no pink meat will remain). Transfer the chicken to a warm platter to rest for 10 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, for the gravy, scrape all the juices, sticky bits and shallots from the tray into a wide saucepan set over a high heat. Pour in the Madeira, boil for 60 seconds, then add the remaining sage and top up with 50-100ml water; bubble for 5 minutes, or until the gravy is thickened to your liking. Whisk in the 30g cubed butter, then spoon the shallots and plenty of gravy over the chicken. Carve and serve with roast potatoes, creamed spinach and/or steamed peas, if you like.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,436kJ/ 586kcals



Saturated Fat












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