Spatchcocked Chicken (Roasted or Grilled)

Spatchcocking, a method of butterflying a chicken by removing the backbone, gives the meat a more uniform thickness, making it cook more evenly and cutting the cooking time by about a third.

  • By Julie Van Rosendaal
  • June 15, 2016
Image Author: Evaan Kheraj
  • Yield: Serves 4-6


1 whole chicken (roaster or fryer)

Olive or canola oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, pulled off the stems

1 tsp flaky sea salt


To spatchcock your chicken, turn it breast side down on a cutting board and, using sharp kitchen shears and starting from the cavity, cut first along one side of the spine, then the other side. Remove spine and save it for stock.

Open the bird like a book, flip it over and flatten it, pressing down and turning the legs so that they lie flat as well. Pat the bird dry with paper towel and rub all over with oil. In a small bowl, stir together garlic, rosemary, thyme and salt and rub all over the surface of the chicken.

To roast the chicken, preheat oven to 425˚F, place the bird on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and roast for 40 to 50 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165˚F. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serves 4 to 6.

Chicken Under a Skillet

A spatchcocked chicken is perfect for the grill—it’s often grilled under a foil-wrapped brick, which weighs it down, flattening it as it cooks. A large cast iron skillet will do the trick more evenly.

Preheat grill to high and place your spatchcocked (and herb-rubbed, or just salted and peppered) chicken cut side down on the grill. Place skillet on top of it and cook for a few minutes; turn heat down to medium, close grill and cook for about 15 minutes per side or until cooked through—the juices should run clear and the joints wiggle in their sockets. Let rest on a cutting board, loosely tented with foil or a tea towel, for 10 minutes before carving. Serves 4 to 6.

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