How to a Spatchcock Chicken

From The Butcher
Making a spatchcock chicken at home

If you’re looking for an easy way to cook a whole chicken that comes out perfectly juicy every time, then learning how to spatchcock a chicken is your answer! Spatchcocking (or butterfly chicken) is the process of removing the backbone from a bird so it can lay flat on a grill or roasting pan. This simple step-by-step guide will teach you everything you need to know about spatchcocking your own chicken – it’s easier than it sounds, and the results are well worth the effort!

Once you have your spatchcock chicken, try our BBQ Spatchcock Chicken recipe!

What is Spatchcock Chicken?

Spatchcock chicken is simply a chicken that has had its backbone removed so that it can be flattened out. This allows for more even cooking, as well as quicker cook times. Not to mention, it also makes the chicken much easier to carve!

Spatchcock chicken is also referred to as a butterflied chicken or flattened chicken.

Why Should I Spatchcock My Chicken?

There are several reasons why you might want to spatchcock your chicken:

  • Exposing the cavity of the chicken and laying it flat decreases the cooking time – so you’ll be sitting down to eat sooner!
  • The white and dark meat cook more evenly resulting in the juiciest chicken ever. No more overcooked or dry breast meat!
  • Flattened chicken makes for a nice presentation on a platter surrounded by veggies and grilled potatoes.

Now that you know what spatchcock chicken is and why you should be doing it, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of how to do it!

How to Spatchcock a Chicken

Here’s what you will need to spatchcock a chicken:

  • whole chicken
  • large cutting board
  • kitchen shears (make sure they are very sharp!)
Cutting the backbone for flattened chicken

Start by placing your chicken breast side down on a cutting board.

Making a spatchcock chicken

Using sharp kitchen shears, cut along each side of the backbone to remove it.

How to flatten a chicken

Discard the backbone or reserve it to make chicken stock. Tip: If you aren’t ready to make chicken stock, pop it in the freezer for later.

Press down to flatten a chicken

Once the backbone is removed, place the chicken breast side up on the cutting board. Using the heel of your palms, press down on the breasts to flatten it out. You should hear a pop as the breastbone cracks.

Now your chicken is ready to be seasoned or marinated just as you would normally season/marinate a whole chicken.

How to Cook a Spatchcock Chicken?

The possibilities are endless when it comes to cooking spatchcock chicken. You can roast it, smoke it, or grill it. The choice is yours!

If you’re roasting or grilling your spatchcock chicken, preheat the oven or grill to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (medium-high heat on the barbeque). Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan for the oven or directly on the grates for the barbeque. Cooking time will range depending on the size of the chicken so always check the internal temperature for doneness. You want an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (which can take anywhere from 45 minutes – 90 minutes).

We hope this guide on how to spatchcock chicken was helpful!

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