Ultimate Guide: How To Spatchcock Chicken


In today’s tutorial, we’re going to reveal our Ultimate Guide: How To Spatchcock Chicken. We will give you everything you need to know to spatchcock chicken.

What Is Spatchcock Chicken?
Have you ever wished you could grill or roast a whole chicken and make it lay flat so that it cooks evenly and more rapidly? Well, now you can. Stay tuned and we’ll show you how to spatchcock a chicken.

How To Spatchcock Chicken

How To Spatchcock A Chicken
This process works well for any tender bird. The more tender the bird, the easier the process is. Today, I have a 3 lb Amish chicken that I will be using.  You can do this with a knife, but I have found that using a very sharp pair of kitchen scissors works best. Here’s how to do it:

1. Locate The Backbone. The first step and the key is finding the backbone. To do this, turn the chicken over so the breast side is down. The backbone runs straight along the back just like it does in humans.

How To Spatchcock Chicken

2. Cut Out The Backbone. The next step is to cut down both sides of the backbone, completely removing it from the chicken. The backbone can be reserved for stock if desired.

How To Spatchcock Chicken

3. Locate The Breastbone. If you turn the chicken back over, you will notice that it doesn’t quite lay flat yet. We are half-way there. Flip the chicken back over so that the skin side is down. Locate the breastbone near the wing end, on the top facing side.

How To Spatchcock Chicken

4. Cut The Cartilage. Use a sharp kitchen knife to cut about ¼” into the breastbone cartilage. The goal here is to pop out the breastbone so that the chicken lays flat. Flip the chicken over skin side up.

How To Spatchcock Chicken

5. Tuck The Wings. The final step is to tuck the wing under the body for aesthetics and to help the bird lay flat.

How To Spatchcock Chicken

And there you have it! You have just spatchcocked a chicken! And as always enjoy!

Why Should You Spatchcock A Chicken?
Why should you take the extra steps and put in the extra effort to spatchcock a chicken before roasting it? Here are a few reasons:

1. Cooks Evenly. The first reason of why you should spatchcock a chicken is because it allows it to cook more evenly. Can you imagine trying to cook a whole chicken before it has been spatchcocked, on the grill? It would be nearly impossible and you’d have to keep turning it slightly to get all sides equally done.

2. Cooks Rapidly. Because the piece is flat and much thinner as a result of the bird being spatchcocked, it cooks much faster than it does before it would when it was whole. We estimate the time difference is ½ to 1/3 faster. When cooking a spatchcocked chicken, we suggest leaving the skin on. As a result, the skin will become quite crisp and the meat inside will be tender and juicy.

3. Variety. Let’s admit it, everyone likes variety. Cooking a spatchcock chicken is one way to change up the plain old and make it something extra fancy.

How To Cook A Spatchcocked Chicken
Once you’ve spatchcocked the chicken, you can cook it any way you would normally cook chicken. Because it lays flat, it’s very easy to cook on the grill. Or, if the weather is not too conducive for grilling, we like to oven roast it in a cast iron skillet.

Pan Roasted Spatchcock Chicken

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, oven roasted, spatchcock
Servings: 4


  • kitchen scissors
  • sharp knife
  • cast iron skillet


  • 1 whole chicken (about 3 lbs)
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp Lowery's seasoning salt
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  • Spatchcock the chicken, removing the backbone completely from the chicken
  • Rub olive oil on the bottom of the pan.
  • Line the bottom of the pan with sliced lemon pieces, halved garlic cloves, and chopped onions.
  • Place the spatchcocked chicken on top of the lemon, onion and garlic pieces. Season generously with salt and herbs.
  • Bake at 400F for 1 hour, depending on size of chicken.
  • Enjoy!

How Long Does It Take?
Using our prepared 3 lb chicken as an example, it would normally take just over an hour to oven roast it. However, the spatchcocked version is 30-50% faster and would only take about 30 – 45 minutes to oven roast.

Where Did The Term Spatchcock Come From?
The term spatchcock was thought to be a shorthand term for “dispatching the cock”, meaning to open a chicken carcass in order to cook it. The process requires splitting the chicken by removing the backbone so that it can be cooked more rapidly and evenly.

Questions or comments Ultimate Guide: How To Spatchcock Chicken? Contact us, we’d love to hear from you.

More Easy Chicken Recipes:
Latin Rice With Chicken Thighs
Roasted Chicken Breast With Rosemary And Lemons
Chicken With Rosemary Garlic Cream

How To Spatchcock Chicken

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