Spatchcocked Chicken

This was the only photo I could find of a spatchcocked chicken. I did not cook this with all of these veggies, but you get the idea. Photo by Tim Douglas on

What? What was that title? Yes. You read it right. We are going to talk about spatchcocked chicken. You’re doing what to a chicken? Spatchcocking it. Basically, we are taking out the backbone of said chicken, and making it lie flat on the pan/grill/frying pan. What are we after? Faster chicken!!! No, I am not referring to a chicken who can run a quick marathon. I am talking about a way to cook chicken so that we can eat it sooner!

I don’t know about you, but my children seem to be always hungry and if they have to wait until even 6 p.m. for dinner, I will hear about it. Luckily, we set up a system a few years back where everyone takes a turn or two at cooking during the week. My days are Tuesday and Wednesday. Child #2 is Monday and Friday. Child #3 is Thursday. (She only has one day since it’s extremely hard for her to cook due to her mental health issues. I still hide all the knives and will only get one out for her if she needs one for dinner prep, as she will use it to hurt and/or mutilate her body otherwise. Yes. It’s like that here.) Child #4 has Saturday and Sunday, since she was away at school during the week.

So, here we are, starving. I try to provide a balanced meal at dinner for the kiddos. I consider that a protein, a starch, and a vegetable. Some days we don’t have starch, but rather two vegetables. This can be in the Autumn, as I am very fond of squash and find it a bit too much to use just that as a veggie. So that is usually paired with green beans or broccoli, etc.

Back to spatchcocking…I have wanted to try my hand at this for quite a while, but have been chicken (Ha! Ha!) So, last Tuesday I went for it. I don’t own a pair of kitchen shears (the thought of actually being able to get all of that raw meat residue off of it for cleaning stops me in my tracks every time!) so I brought out a sharp kitchen knife and slid it down on either side of the chicken’s backbone. It made me a little queasy, but I was on a mission.

First tip: Make sure your chicken is completely defrosted. This can be accomplished in your microwave to start and then finished in your fridge, or any of your favorite defrosting methods. Just be careful to not let it get too warm and spoil. No one wants bad chicken!

Once you have cut out and removed the backbone of your chicken, flip it over and lay it flat. You are supposed to have to break the breastbone when you do this, but my chicken didn’t require anything to lie flat. Defective chicken? Who knows?

Then I simply salted, peppered and rosemarried the back side of the chicken (the part with the bones) so that no one was chewing on rosemary and making that nasty face my children get when they taste something they do not like.

Second Tip: If you are grilling your spatchcocked chicken, may I suggest placing a double sheet of foil under it, gently sprayed with your favorite non-stick cooking spray? It will cook beautifully, not stick to the grill, and make clean-up a breeze. Additionally, it will prevent flare-ups in your grill as the grease from the chicken drips into your hot coals.

I cooked our chicken for about thirty minutes on the first side and then flipped it over to cook an additional thirty on the back side. My chicken was about four pounds. Just make sure your chicken reaches the safety of 165 degrees F so that no one needs to go to the ER for food poisoning. Nope. Nobody wants that!

It was beautiful and golden brown. It had a wonderful smoky flavor from the grill, but no charring on it since it had been cooked on the foil. I’m sorry that I didn’t take any pictures of the chicken, as it was gorgeous (first time I’ve ever said that about a chicken!!!) but I was a little busy with the grill, hot coals, cutting up cucumber, and boiling corn on the cob. So, you will have to make do with a stock image. Sorry about that.

So, after you’ve stopped laughing at the name, let me know if you’ve ever tried this cooking method and, if so, how did it go? Otherwise, you can just stop by to like or comment. I like communication!!! Have a happy day and enjoy!

Published by Rita

I am a single mother, a Christian, a writer, an abuse survivor, a reader, and a friend. I've wanted to be a writer my entire life and now here I am!

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