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How To Spatchcock A Chicken

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Do you know the word spatchcock?  Maybe you have heard of butterflying a chicken.  It basically means to remove the backbone and flatten the whole chicken.  So now you can learn how to spatchcock a chicken.spatchcocked-done-notjustpaperandpaintWhy do you want to do this?  One of the main advantages is it will roast in about half the time.  This will depend on the sizes of your chicken.

This can even be done with a turkey.

I like roasting a whole chicken because I think having the skin helps to keep moisture in the bird.  Also, any bone-in piece of meat will add to the flavor.

Begin by inspecting the chicken.  Are there any loose feathers or skin?  Pin feathers to remove?  If so, go ahead and do this.  I don’t rinse it yet.  Whenever working with chicken I use parchment or butche’rs paper underneath it to keep from spreading any germs.whole-chicken-notjustpaperandpaintLay the chicken, breast side down and feel for the back bone.chicken-back-notjustpaperandpaint  Taking kitchen shears, begin by cutting down one side of the bone.shears-notjustpaperandpaintYou will just have to do this by feel a bit and sometimes even break a bone by hand to make it easier.chicken-shear-notjustpaperandpaintGo all the way up one side of the backbone.

To me, it’s a bit easier to then turn the chicken around and go in the opposite direction.  

Again find the backbone, and cut to the side of it.  If your shears won’t go through a bone easily, you can use a knife if necessary, but being very careful.

After removing the whole backbone, check for any small bones remaining and cut those away.spatchcock-notjustpaperandpaintTurn the chicken back over and apply a bit of pressure between the breast bones to flatten it more.spatchcocked-done-notjustpaperandpaintNow rinse the chicken thoroughly to remove any of those pesky little “guts” that seem to always be inside the chicken.

Pat dry.

Now you are ready to roast.

For this 5 pound roasting chicken, it took approximately 55 at minutes at 425, which is almost half the time a whole chicken would have taken.  The thermometer should read 160 – 170 when placed in the thickest part of the thigh.  

Watch next week for some ideas on roasting this chicken and one-pan meals.

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I’ve included affiliate links to Amazon for you to find some products easier.  I may receive a small commission, but the price is the same for you.  It just helps my blog out.

Happy Travels, 


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