What is Spatchcock Chicken? The name is thought to be a contraction of “dispatch the cock,” meaning to kill the chicken, and is a method where the backbone is cut out so the bird can be flattened. This means it will cook fast and retain its juices well.
How to spatchcock a chicken: With a good pair of poultry shears, cut along each side of the backbone and remove it (save it for stock if you want). Turn the chicken breast side up and press on the breastbone to flatten the chicken.
Note: This recipe can be done in the oven, on the grill, or even initially smoked and finished either in the oven or on the grill.
- 1 Moody’s 4 to 6 pound “spatchcocked” whole chicken I have used both the Amish and the Green Circle Chicken.
- 1 T olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 T of your favorite chicken rub
- 3 T of olive oil for frying
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Clip off the winglets.
Rub the chicken with olive oil and season with your favorite rub and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Lift the skin and season under the skin as well. (Tip: while lifting the skin for the seasoning, slip in some butter, you won’t be disappointed.)
Heat the rest of the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken skin side down while gently pressing it until the chicken is a beautiful dark golden brown and the spices are almost blackened – about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a baking pan but on top of a wire rack.
Roast for 45 minutes, until the skin is browned and an instant read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh reads 160°F to 165°F (I prefer 165°F). Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Wine Pairing: A Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or soft Red Blend will pair nicely with this chicken.