How to Make Perfectly Spatchcocked Chicken with Crispy Skin and Tender Meat

How to Make Perfectly Spatchcocked Chicken with Crispy Skin and Tender Meat

Spatchcocking a chicken is a technique that involves removing the backbone and flattening the chicken to cook it evenly. The result is a perfectly cooked bird with crispy skin and juicy, tender meat. In this article, we will show you how to spatchcock a chicken and cook it to perfection.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. What is spatchcocking?
  3. Why spatchcock a chicken?
  4. Choosing the right chicken
  5. How to spatchcock a chicken
  6. Seasoning the chicken
  7. Preparing the grill
  8. Cooking the chicken
  9. Resting and serving
  10. Tips for perfect spatchcocked chicken
  11. Frequently Asked Questions
    1. What is the difference between spatchcocking and butterflying a chicken?
    2. Can I spatchcock a chicken in advance?
    3. Can I cook a spatchcocked chicken in the oven?
    4. Can I use a gas grill instead of charcoal?
    5. How do I know when the chicken is done cooking?


Spatchcocking a chicken may sound intimidating, but it's actually a simple technique that anyone can master. With a few easy steps, you can turn an ordinary chicken into a show-stopping meal that will impress your family and friends. In this article, we will guide you through the process of spatchcocking a chicken and cooking it to perfection.

What is spatchcocking?

Spatchcocking is a technique that involves removing the backbone from a chicken and flattening it out. This technique is also known as butterflying, and it's a popular method for cooking poultry. By spatchcocking a chicken, you can cook it more evenly and quickly than you would with a whole chicken.

Why spatchcock a chicken?

There are several benefits to spatchcocking a chicken. First, it allows for more even cooking, as the bird is flattened out and the heat is distributed more evenly. Second, it reduces cooking time, as the flattened bird cooks faster than a whole bird. Finally, spatchcocked chicken is perfect for barbecuing or roasting, as the skin gets crispy and the meat stays tender and juicy.

Choosing the right chicken

When it comes to spatchcocking a chicken, it's important to choose the right bird. Look for a chicken that is around 1.5-2kg in weight, as this size is ideal for spatchcocking. Make sure the chicken is fresh and free from any bruises or discoloration.

How to spatchcock a chicken

To spatchcock a chicken, you will need a sharp knife and a pair of kitchen shears. Follow these steps:

  1. Place the chicken breast-side down on a cutting board.
  2. Use the kitchen shears to cut along both sides of the backbone, from the tail end to the neck.
  3. Remove the backbone and discard it or save it for stock.
  4. Flip the chicken over and press down on the breastbone to flatten it out.
  5. Tuck the wings under the breast to prevent them from burning.

Seasoning the chicken

Once you have spatchcocked the chicken, it's time to season it. You can use your favourite chicken rub, like Bulldozer Bird Brain, Four Monkeys Chicken Rub or Big Red Brand Crack Seasoning. Be sure to season both sides of the chicken and rub the seasoning in well.

To really take your chicken to next level juiciness & flavour, brine the chicken for 4 hours before seasoning with Four Monkeys Chicken Brine - you thank us later!


Now, let's talk about the cooking process. We want to cook this chicken to perfection, so we need to monitor its internal temperature regularly. We're aiming for a temperature of 75°C in the thickest part of the breast. This will ensure that the chicken is cooked through but still juicy and tender.

To achieve this, we're going to use an internal temperature probe. This is a small device that you insert into the meat, and it will tell you the internal temperature. We're going to leave the probe in the thickest part of the breast, and we'll monitor the temperature using a digital thermometer.

The cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken and the temperature of your grill. Generally, you can expect it to take around 45-60 minutes at a temperature of 200-220°C. However, it's important to monitor the temperature regularly and adjust the cooking time as needed.

While the chicken is cooking, we can prepare some sides to go with it. We like to keep it simple and serve the chicken with a green salad and some roasted vegetables. You could also serve it with some garlic bread or mashed potatoes if you're feeling fancy.

Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 75°C, it's time to take it off the grill. Be careful when handling it, as it will be very hot. We want to let it rest for around 10-15 minutes before carving it. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring that it's juicy and tender.

To carve the chicken, start by cutting it in half down the middle. Then, cut each half into quarters. Finally, remove the legs and the wings. You can then serve the chicken on a platter, garnished with some fresh herbs and lemon wedges.

In conclusion, spatchcocking a chicken is a great way to cook it quickly and evenly on the grill. By removing the spine and flattening it out, you can ensure that it cooks through evenly, and you'll get crispy skin and tender, juicy meat. With a few simple seasoning ingredients and some careful temperature monitoring, you can create a delicious and impressive meal that your friends and family will love.


  1. What is spatchcocking a chicken, and why is it better than traditional roasting? Spatchcocking is a technique where you remove the spine from the chicken and flatten it out. This allows it to cook more evenly and quickly, resulting in crispy skin and tender, juicy meat.

  2. Do I need any special equipment to spatchcock a chicken? No, you can do it with just a sharp knife and a pair of kitchen shears.

  3. Can I spatchcock a chicken in the oven instead of on the grill? Yes, you can spatchcock a chicken and roast it in the oven. Just follow the same process, but cook it at a temperature of 180-200°C.

  4. How do I know when the chicken is cooked through? Use an internal temperature probe to monitor the temperature in the thickest part of the breast. You're aiming for a temperature of 75°C.

  5. What should I serve with spatchcocked chicken? You can serve it with a variety of sides, such as roasted vegetables, green salad, garlic bread, or mashed potatoes. It's a versatile dish that pairs well with many different flavors.

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