Trader Joe’s Spatchcocked Sweet & Savory Chicken

Part of what makes a Trader Joe’s shopping experience fun is simply roaming the store and seeing what kinds of unique and interesting products you can find. Aldi’s cousin has been known to stock everything from frozen Indian food to street corn-flavored corn chips to maple espresso black tea. In other words, TJ’s is an eclectic place to go grocery shopping. You can buy a lot of basics there such as baking supplies and canned goods, but Trader Joe’s goes beyond a regular grocery store.

One area I like to browse in at TJ’s is the fresh meat section. This is where you’ll find turkeys and ham during the holidays, along with everyday products such as bacon, ground beef or ground turkey, and different kinds of chicken. One of my family’s favorites from Trader Joe’s is their shawarma chicken, which is great paired with Indian flatbread, tzatziki sauce, and fresh sliced veggies.

Trader Joe’s also carries spatchcocked chickens with different marinades and seasonings. Last summer, we tried a lemon rosemary spatchcocked chicken. During a recent Trader Joe’s run, I found another spatchcocked chicken, this time with a sweet and savory marinade, so I bought one to try at home.

Trader Joe's Spatchcocked Sweet & Savory Chicken

Trader Joe’s Spatchcocked Sweet & Savory Chicken costs $5.49 per pound. I purchased a 3.19-pound chicken for $17.51. It’s pricey, but if you’re looking for an easy, ready-to-bake meal that tastes good, it can be a nice treat. The chicken I purchased on November 11th had a freeze-by date of November 18th. This is a product of the U.S. This antibiotic-free chicken contains up to 5% maple Dijon marinade, water, seasoning, vinegar powder, and rosemary extract.

The ingredients is fairly long but contains mostly easily recognizable items, including chicken, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, yellow mustard, various spices, cane sugar, and more.

Spatchcocked or butterflied chicken is simply a whole chicken with the backbone cut out so that the chicken can be pressed flat in roasting pan. Some chefs cite several potential advantages to spatchcocking a chicken. It can help to cook the chicken more evenly and certain parts of the chicken may be less prone to drying out. A spatchcocked chicken also often has more crispy skin. In addition, some people say spatchcocked chicken is easier to serve because carving it only requires a few extra slices.

While you can spatchcock and season your own whole chicken at home, sometimes it’s nice to let Trader Joe’s do the work.

Trader Joe's Spatchcocked Sweet & Savory Chicken

Nutrition information and ingredients. (Click to enlarge.)

One serving (4 ounces) has 230 calories, 14 grams of total fat (18% DV), 4 grams of saturated fat (20% DV), 280 mg of sodium (12% DV), 9 grams of total carbohydrates (3% DV), 8 grams of total sugars, and 7 grams of added sugars (14% DV).

The package has directions for baking this chicken. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Remove the chicken from the pouch, and do not rinse the chicken. Lay the chicken skin-side up in a shallow baking pan. Bake in the center of the oven for 45-50 minutes or until well browned and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees as measured by a meat thermometer.

In my experience, spatchcocked chickens from Trader Joe’s tend to be on the smaller side, coming in at just over 3 pounds. That is the case with this chicken. I get pasture-raised chickens from a local farmer that run 4 to 5 pounds, so if you’re used to bigger chickens, this meal may not go as far. If you’re not feeding a crowd, though, this Trader Joe’s chicken may be just what you want. This chicken was the right amount to feed my family of four, although we didn’t all take huge portions.

Trader Joe's Spatchcocked Sweet & Savory Chicken

After cooking. The skin was well browned, but the chicken inside was tender and moist.

This chicken marinade is similar to a honey mustard sauce, and it smells delicious while it’s cooking in the oven. It took about 50 minutes for my chicken to completely cook. You’ll want to let this cool enough so that you can handle it to cut it into sections for serving — legs, thighs, breasts, and wings. Use the same technique you would use to cut up a regular whole chicken. You don’t need to cut through actual bones. Simply pop leg and thigh bones out of the joints by gently twisting, and then use a good kitchen knife to cut through the softer connective tissue.

My family enjoyed this chicken, and some people who took smaller initial servings went back for more. The marinade doesn’t only flavor the chicken at the surface. Even the deeper breast meat still had good flavor. It’s good on its own served with a vegetable side, or I served it alongside some stuffing and mashed potatoes. We liked this better than the other spatchcocked chicken from Trader Joe’s — the lemon and rosemary version — and I would definitely buy this again if I needed an easy chicken dinner.

The Verdict:

Trader Joe’s Spatchcocked Sweet & Savory Chicken features a marinade that is reminiscent of a honey mustard sauce. It smells great in the oven and tastes good. This is easy to drop on a baking sheet and takes about 45-50 minutes to cook, leaving you with time to get other things done while dinner is cooking. It’s a more expensive chicken option but worth trying at least once.

About Rachael

Rachael is the Co-founder of Aldi Reviewer. When she isn't busy shopping at Aldi, she enjoys cooking, gardening, writing gothic romance, and collecting more houseplants than she probably should. You can learn more about her at

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