An Air Fryer Spatchcock Chicken cooks in no time and makes a moist and flavorful whole chicken.

What is spatchcocked? That is a fancy word for cutting and flattening a whole chicken (also known as butterflying). The word is harder to say than it is to do! This chicken recipe will cook quickly and evenly, yielding fantastic results.

cooked whole chicken in an air fryer tray

Quick & Easy Spatchcock Chicken

  • Flattening a chicken is a good skill to learn in the kitchen, especially if a whole chicken is frequently on the menu.
  • Spatchcocked chicken cooks so much faster and can be cooked in different ways. It can be pan-fried, grilled, roasted and air fried.
  • This recipe is simple and the chicken is delicious.

Ingredients & Variations

WHOLE CHICKENS:  Use whole chicken for this recipe. Chickens that are 3-4 pounds are ideal. Make sure the chicken will fit in the air fryer. A 6-10 quart air fryer should do.

SPICES: Adding spices to the skin of the chicken is the secret to a flavorful chicken. Chicken seasoning works well, as does paprika, salt, pepper, and oregano.

uncooked whole chicken on a cutting board

How to Cook Spatchcock Chicken in the Air Fryer

Perfect these easy steps for a moist and flavorful chicken!

To Prep the Chicken:

Spatchcocking chicken is the fastest way to enjoy a whole chicken in the air fryer. Just remove the giblets from the cavity of the chicken and spatchcock it!

  1. Make sure that the cavity of the chicken is empty and rinse it out.
  2. Place the chicken breast side down on a cutting board.
  3. Cut along each side of the breast bone so the backbone can be removed, per the recipe.
  4. Flip the chicken over again and flatten it putting pressure on it with your hands.

That’s all there is to it. Now you are ready to season and cook!

uncooked whole chicken in an air fryer tray

To Cook the Chicken:

The whole chicken cooks great in the air fryer. It is so simple and the results are fantastic. Once spatchcocked the chicken can be prepared in 2 super easy steps!

  1. Pat dry and rub it with olive oil and spices (per the recipe below).
  2. Place the chicken, breast side up, into the air fryer.

Cook and enjoy! The skin comes out crispy and the meat is perfectly moist for the best whole chicken in under an hour!

Our Favorite Recipe Tips!

  • Save the removed backbone to make broth.  Simply bag it and freeze it for future soup. After the chicken has cooked and been picked clean, the carcass can be placed in the same bag as the backbone and frozen.
  • To seal in the juices for moist and delicious chicken, let it rest for 15 minutes once it has been removed from the air fryer.
  • Add some roast potatoes and broccoli and you have the perfect meal!

More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes

cooked whole chicken in an air fryer tray
5 from 3 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Air Fryer Spatchcock Chicken

This air fryer spatchcock chicken recipe makes tender juicy chicken with crispy skin.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Rest time 5 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings



  • 1 whole chicken 3-4 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chicken seasoning or 2 teaspoons seasoning salt


  • Preheat air fryer to 350°F.
  • Place chicken breast side down on a cutting board.
  • Using kitchen scissors, cut along one side of the backbone. Repeat on the other side of the backbone to remove it completely. Discard the backbone (or see note).
  • Flip the chicken over and place your hands on the breast. Press down to flatten the chicken.
  • Rub the skin with olive oil and generously season.
  • Place the chicken breast side up and air fry for 35-40 minutes or until the breast reaches 165°F.
  • Remove from the air fryer and rest 5 minutes.


If you make your own chicken broth, place the backbone in the freezer for future use. Once you've eaten the chicken, save the carcass and freeze to add to broth too.
5 from 3 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 443kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 134mg | Potassium: 367mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 293IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

Like our recipes?
Follow us on Pinterest!

Follow us on Pinterest

REPIN this Air Fryer Spatchcock Chicken Recipe

cooked whole chicken with text

cooked whole chicken in an air fryer tray with text
cooked whole chicken uncooked whole chicken in air fryer trays with text



Recipes you'll love

About the author

Holly is a mom of 4 with a love for all things air fryer! Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making recipes for the everyday home cook!
See more posts by Holly

latest & greatest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating