How To Spatchcock A Chicken (In 3 Steps)
What Is Spatchcock Chicken?
Spatchcock: A culinary preparation in which the backbone of a whole chicken (or turkey) is removed so it can be cooked flat, on the grill or in the oven.
This method is thought to have originated in Ireland and is now a popular way to cook a whole roasting chicken in a hurry.
Is Spatchcock Chicken The Same As Butterflied Chicken?
Yes and no. The term butterflied chicken is most often used for the process of opening a single chicken breast, like a book, to make the piece of chicken wider yet flatter. This creates more surface area for seasoning, yet the chicken breast cooks through in less time.
However, if you use the phrase whole butterflied bone-in chicken then it would be the same as spatchcocking. *wink*
Why Should You Spatchcock A Chicken?
So why should you take the extra steps to spatchcock a chicken before roasting it?
- Speed. Cooking the entire chicken flat against the heat source speeds up the cooking process. You can expect your chicken to cook in half to two-thirds the time, based on the size of the chicken.
- Crispy Skin. When you spatchcock a chicken all the skin is cooked facing upward. That not only means even browning for extra crispy skin, it means more crispy skin to enjoy!
- Variety. Let’s face it, Spatchcock Chickens look fancy. So this simple process turns your average roasted chicken into something special!
How To Spatchcock A Chicken In 3 Steps
How do you flatten a roasting chicken? How to butterfly a whole chicken?
Spatchcocking is so easy, anyone can do it. All you need is a good pair of kitchen shears.
- Cut out the backbone. Use strong kitchen shears to cut alongside the backbone, from one end of the bird to the other. Then cut along the other side of the backbone to remove it completely.
- Cut through the breastbone. Open the cavity of the chicken to find the breastbone. Now cut a shallow incision through the flexible bone, from one end to the other, yet not all the way through the breast meat and skin on the other side. This allows the chicken to be flattened.
- Trim the wings. On some chickens, the tips of the wings have already been trimmed off. In this case, leave them as-is. However, on other whole chickens, the wing tips are intact and are likely to burn before the chicken is cooked through. You can either cut them off at the
joint,or tuck them up and under the breasts.
Get the Full (Printable) Instructions Below + A Garlic Herb Oven Roasted Chicken Recipe
How Long To Roast A Spatchcock Chicken
Generally speaking, a Spatchcock Chicken will cook through in 30-50% less time than a standard roasting chicken.
You can expect smaller chickens to cook in half the time, while larger chickens will cook in two-thirds the time.
That means if a
Garlic Herb Oven Roasted Chicken
Once you spatchcock your chicken, you can season it with anything you like!
One of our favorite to-go preparations is to slather it with garlic herb butter.
We’ve included the recipe in the instructions below!
More Easy Chicken Recipes
- Keto Chicken Lasagna Cups
- Creamy Coq au Vin
- Perfect Herb Roasted Chicken Thighs
- Instant Pot Sweet Soy Chicken
- Honey Orange Roasted Chicken
- Croatian Chicken Skillet
- See More How To Posts!
How To Spatchcock A Chicken In 3 Steps
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Unwrap a whole roasting chicken and remove anything stuffed inside the front and back cavities, along with the plastic timer pop-up.
- Look and the bird carefully to determine where you see the breast meat. Then flip the chicken over and find the backbone.
- Use strong kitchen shears to cut alongside the backbone, from one end of the bird to the other. Then cut along the other side of the backbone to remove it completely. Keep the shears very close to the backbone as to not cut off any meat.
- Open the cavity of the chicken to find the breastbone. Now cut a shallow incision through the flexible bone, from one end to the other, yet not all the way through the breast meat and skin on the other side. This allows the chicken to be flattened. (See photos for reference.)
- Place the chicken breast-side-up on a rimmed baking sheet. Push the breasts down to flatten the chicken. Pull the drumsticks down and together to create the classic spatchcock shape. Then deal with the wings…
- On some chickens, the tips of the wings have already been trimmed off. In this case, leave them as-is. However, on other chickens, the wings tips are intact and are likely to burn before the chicken is cooked through. You can either cut them off at the joint or tuck them up and under the breasts.
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, including any excess juices on the baking sheet.
- In a small bowl mix the melted butter, lemon zest, minced garlic, fresh herbs, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon ground black pepper.
- Brush the mixture over the entire surface of the chicken. Roast for 35-40 minutes, until the interior temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
- Allow the chicken to rest for 7-10 minutes before cutting and serving.