What is spatchcock chicken?
‘Spatchcock’ is just a funny word for butterflied. What is butterflied? Well, in this case of using a whole chicken, you basically just cut the whole bird down its backbone and flatten it. This will allow it to cook evenly and uniformly on a grill or any other kind of flat surface.
Why would I spatchcock chicken?
There are several advantages to cooking a spatchcock chicken.
For one thing, it’s faster. I found that this method of cooking takes 1/3 less time to cook than it normally does with a whole bird. Instead of roasting it for 90 minutes, I only cook it in the oven for 60. It also has more of a chance to cook evenly since everything is laid flat and exposed equally to the heat. No more dry chicken breasts for you!
Did I mention all that extra crispy skin? Crispy chicken skin fires up all the pleasure centers in my brain like fireworks with its utter deliciousness. So why not maximize the crispy skin potential by cooking everything skin side up and not simmering away in the juices beneath.
Lastly, it is GREAT for grilling! You don’t need to fumble with a whole bird on a hot grill. Let’s face it, a slippery whole chicken on a grill sounds like a safety hazard. Best to just lay it flat on the grill and let the BBQ heat work its magic. Who doesn’t love a whole chicken slowly grilled over smoke and fire?
Tell me more about that marinade…
I must say…this marinade is a work of culinary genius. The yogurt tenderizes, the salt and sugar cure the meat providing flavor and further aiding in keeping everything nice and juicy and the lemon, thyme, paprika and garlic are a match made in mouth heaven. I’m tempted to put it on all things poultry.
This spatchcock chicken marinated in yogurt, garlic and spices then roasted in the oven to juicy perfection. It’s finger licking good! #chicken #spatchcock #butterflied #yogurt #paprika
1 whole chicken (about 1–2 kg/ 2–4.5 lbs)
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp ground sweet paprika
1/2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (chopped)
3–4 cloves of garlic (minced or grated)
6 tbsp unsweetened plain yogurt
1/2 tbsp grated lemon zest
In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, garlic, lemon zest, chopped thyme leaves, paprika, salt and sugar.
To prep the chicken, remove the giblet and spread yogurt marinade all over the whole chicken including the inside cavity. Place in a large ziplock bag or covered container and refrigerate for 6 hours-overnight.
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 230 C / 450 F if roasting. If grilling, make sure the grill is nice and hot.
Place chicken breasts up and locate the backbone at the bottom, next to the chopping board surface. Using a sharp knife or scissors, cut down one side of the spine into the rib bones until the chicken carcass is no longer connected. You can continue on the other side to remove the backbone entirely or leave it in. It’s up to you.
Flip the bird over, breasts up and flatten the chicken by pressing down on the breastbone. Place two skewers cross into the thighs and through the breast.
Roast it in the oven for 40-60 mins on 230 C / 450 F or until internal temperature reaches 75 C / 165 F. If you are grilling it, cook 15-25 minutes on each side (this will depend on how good your grill is) or until internal temperature reaches 75 C / 165 F.
If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 5-10 minutes before putting into the chicken. This will prevent them from going up in flames.
- Prep Time: 6 hours
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Main, Chicken
- Method: grilling, roasting
- Cuisine: Western
Keywords: chicken, spatchcock, yogurt, paprika, garlic, thyme
More finger-licking chicken recipes: