Spatchcock chicken, or butterfly chicken, is an easy way to get a whole chicken prepared for cooking by removing the backbone and getting it to lay flat. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about how to get it done quickly and effortlessly.
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If you’ve ever seen one of those beautiful flat laying whole chickens that looks Instagram worthy and wondered how you could do the same, then look no further. It’s pretty easy to do the same thing. The popular term for this flat laying chicken is called spatchcocked or butterflied.
So why would you spatchcock a chicken? Other than it being pretty gorgeous once done, spatchcocking a chicken allows it to cook a little quicker, cook evenly, and generally results in crispier skin. Laying a chicken flat is also good for when you want to grill a chicken.
- A smaller whole chicken – You’ll want one that’s 2-4lbs. Smaller chickens are easier to spatchcock and it’s easier to cut along the backbone.
- A cutting board – Make sure it’s not slippery or moving around on your counter. Use a kitchen towel underneath to keep it in place.
- Sharp Kitchen shears – Makes cutting along the backbone much easier and safer than using a knife.
- A paring knife – For scoring the cartilage which makes it easier to lay the chicken flat.
How to Spatchcock a Chicken:
- To Spatchcock a chicken, you’ll need to place the chicken breast side down with legs toward you.
- Use sharp kitchen shears and cut along the backbone to remove it. You’ll end up cutting through the rib bones.
- Slit the white cartilage that’s in the middle of the breast.
- Turn the chicken over and use two hands to pull the breast and wings upward while pushing the middle of the breast down, until it lays flat.
- Remove any excess fat from the chicken.
- A 2-4 lb chicken
- Cutting Board
- Kitchen Shears
- Paring Knife
- Place the chicken breast side down with legs toward you. Cut along the backbone with sharp kitchen shears.
- Slit the cartilage that's in the middle of the breastbone.
- Place two hands on the breast and wings and pull them apart while pushing down on the middle of the breastbone.
- Your chicken will lay flat. Cut off any excess fat.
- Smaller chickens are easier to spatchcock as it's easier to cut along the backbone. I generally use chickens that are around 2-4lbs.
- Dry your chicken with paper towels prior to cutting. It'll make grabbing and gripping the chicken easier.
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