A chicken dinner impressive enough for a show-stopping meal and yet easy enough for a weeknight dinner! This Spatchcock Cast-Iron Mustard Chicken will quickly become a favorite, I know I find myself making it over and over again.
Why this Recipe Works
Spatchcocking any poultry (in this case chicken) cuts the cooking time in half. It also makes it much easier to evenly spread all your seasoning and marinade over the meat.
Cooking the spatchcock chicken in the cast iron pan without a lid distributes the heat evenly throughout the chicken causing it to cook very evenly, while allowing the skin to crisp up wonderfully.
Getting the marinade under the skin of the mustard chicken brings the flavor punch straight to the chicken meat, and tenderizes it at the same time.
Ingredients, Substitutions, & Equipment
hot sauce - I use Valentina, but you can use any hot sauce you have in the refrigerator.
soy sauce - you can substitute with coconut or liquid aminos.
mustard - I use a combination of Dijon mustard and whole grain mustard (half and half). The recipe also works with just Dijon mustard. Simply use Dijon for the whole amount.
instant read thermometer - the best way to know your chicken is done cooking. You want to take it out of the oven at 160-163F so it can come to temperature (165F) while it rests.
cast iron pan - I use this Finex cast iron with lid ($280). If you are looking for an inexpensive option, then the Lodge cast iron skillet ($35) is wonderful. Also, make sure you get a 12" skillet and not something smaller. You'll be happy you did!
How to Make this Mustard Chicken
Preheat your oven to 450F. Mix all the ingredients (photo 1) for the mustard rub mixture in a bowl until completely combined (photo 2).
Having already spatchcocked the chicken, put two tablespoons of the mustard rub mixture under the skin of each breast. Then put two tablespoons of the mustard mixture under the skin of each thigh. See photos below for the easiest points of entry to insert the marinade
Heat your cast-iron skillet on the stove on a medium-high heat. Add a thin layer of oil, if necessary - if your pan is already well seasoned you may not need additional oil.
Add about a quarter of the remaining mustard mixture to the non-skin side of each chicken half (photo 1 below). Then place the chicken skin-side up in the cast iron pan. Add the remaining mustard mixture liberally on top of the chicken (photo 2 below).
Cook 5 minutes until the chicken starts to brown. Transfer it in the skillet, uncovered to the pre-heated oven.
Cook the chicken for about 30-35 minutes in the oven until the internal temperature reads 160F when checking the inside of the chicken breast with a thermometer. Once it reaches 160F, remove the pan from the oven and set aside to rest. Bear in mind that the chicken will continue to cook while it rests. Let rest at least 5 minutes before serving.
What to Serve with Mustard Chicken
Looking for More Delicious Chicken?
If you love this mustard chicken, be sure to check out these other delicious poultry recipes here! Some of my favorites:
Aji Verde Sauce
This chicken is fantastic with some aji verde sauce. Simply add ½ head of iceberg lettuce, 5 cloves garlic, 2-3 jalapeños, ⅓ cup of vegan mayonnaise, and a pinch of salt to a food processor and process until you have a smooth paste. It's as simple as that!
Here is a link to the full recipe.
Spatchcock Chicken FAQs
Spatchcocking is the method of removing the spine from poultry and spreading the two halves of the bird flat for grilling or roasting. Spatchcocking any poultry (in this case chicken) cuts the cooking time in half. It also makes it much easier to evenly spread all your seasoning and marinade over the meat.
You can spatchcock a chicken in four easy steps:
Step 1: Use kitchen shears to cut along the right of the backbone, staying as close to the backbone as possible.
Step 2: Cut along the left of the backbone, staying as close to the backbone as possible. Remove and set the backbone aside.
Step 3: Pull open the bird to start making it lie flat.
Step 4: Flip the bird over so it is breast side up and press down firmly on the breast bone (snapping the breastplate) with your hands so it can lay completely flat.
These are the kitchen shears I always use. I love them because I can sharpen them when they get dull. Having said that, I've had them for 5 years and haven't had to sharpen them yet!
The origins of the word 'spatchcock' are rooted in Irish history, a variation of the similar word 'spitchcock', which some believe to be a combination of 'dispatch' and 'cock' melded into one word. Whatever the true origin, it's a good kitchen term to know!
This recipe roasts the chicken in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, which is my preferred pan for this cooking method. It is amazing at retaining heat, usually has built in handles for ease of movement, and gives a great flavor to your chicken. However, if you don't have a cast iron skillet, a large ceramic roasting pan, a baking sheet or other oven-safe pans are great alternatives.
This recipe doesn't call for a cover so you can get that delicious, crispy, mustard-infused outer coating on the chicken. Each recipe will usually stipulate whether you should do it or not. In general, a recipe that requires you to cover the meat while roasting is a recipe for a slow-cooked meal, resulting in tender meat. Recipes that do not require a cover are often for meats that cook for a shorter amount of time, and the lack of cover then gives them a tasty crispy skin.
No, so you can get that delicious, crispy, skin on the chicken. Each recipe will usually stipulate whether you should do it or not. In general, a recipe that requires you to cover the meat while roasting is a recipe for a slow-cooked meal, resulting in tender meat. Recipes that do not require a cover are often for meats that cook for a shorter amount of time, and the lack of cover then gives them a tasty crispy skin.
Clean your cast-iron skillet immediately after use. If the drippings and food residue does not wipe out easily, use hot water to hand-wash your cast iron. Then, you can use an abrasive sponge to scrub off any stuck-on food. Next, use coarse kosher salt to scrub off any remaining if necessary. Finally, dry the skillet thoroughly, add a thin layer of oil, and re-heat the cast iron. Once it cools you can store it until your next use.
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Spatchcock Cast-Iron Mustard Chicken
- 4 lb. chicken spatchcocked
- 6-8 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 2 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos soy sauce, or liquid aminos
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce I use Valentina
- 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Preheat to 450F.
- Mix all the ingredients (except the chicken) in a bowl.
- Put 2 tablespoon of the mixture under the skin of each breast. Put 2 tablespoon of the mixture under the skin of each thigh.
- Heat your cast iron skillet on the stove. Add a thin layer of oil, if necessary*. Add ¼ of the remaining mixture to the non-skin side of each chicken half and place the chicken skin side up in the pan. Add the remaining mixture on top of the chicken. Cook 5 minutes until starts to brown. Transfer to the oven.
- Cook 30-35 minutes in the oven until internal temperature reads 155F when checking the inside of the chicken breast.* It will continue to cook while it rests. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
This post was originally published in January 2019, but was republished with new step-by-step instructions and photos, and tips in April 2020 and with FAQs in December 2020.
This was so incredibly helpful. I've always been intimidated by spatchcocking but these instructions made it easy and the end result was so delicious my family had no leftovers! Looks like we will have to make it again.
Thank you for sharing, Steve... I'm so glad the instructions helped you and you liked the recipes!
Hi should I add salt and pepper? Thank you
No salt and pepper in this recipe. The coconut aminos/soy sauce provides the salt. Enjoy!
Tried it once!
I used all regular Dijon mustard, not whole grain Dijon mustard like I think you have pictured, and the mixture was too runny I think. 2tbsp under each area was also too much, so when the chicken reached 155ish, it still had wet runny mustard mix under the skin ... tasted pretty wet .. skin was soaked! So I'll use whole grain Dijon next time, I think it has less moisture?
I'm so sad to hear it came out with wet skin! Yes, the whole grain Dijon has much less mustard and that will help. It also helps with moisture control to make sure the chicken is roasting in a pan with low sides. And that you pat it completely dry before adding the marinade. Another trick to crispy skin is to keep it in the refrigerator overnight, uncovered, to help draw out the moisture. This is a heavy marinade, so these tricks would be helpful to achieve that crispy skin.
Finally, it could also help to have the chicken roasting on the top rack of the oven because the top is considered a hot zone - this will help pull more of the moisture out.
And if you want to take it a step further, you can use an oven or infrared thermometer to check the heat zones of your oven and calibrate the oven temperature.
I hope this helps! If you give these a try, be sure to come back and let us know how it goes!
Justin @ Salt Pepper Skillet
I can almost taste the deliciousness of this chicken! I so wish I had a whole chicken (or 5) right now to try it out. Now that it's getting hotter; this could be great for cooking inside the grill (still in a cast iron skillet) to add a little smoky flavor to the mix and keep the heat outside. Yum!
That sounds so good, Justin! Can't wait to get a grill and try it out. Yum!