How to spatchcock a chicken

How to spatchcock a chicken

by Great British Chefs17 July 2015

How to spatchcock a chicken

The word spatchcock used to refer to a small male chicken but in recent times has become associated with the process of removing the backbone from a bird before cooking, usually on a barbecue. The benefits of spatchcocking a chicken, or indeed any other bird, are that it speeds up the cooking process without drying out the meat, as the rib and leg bones remain to keep things moist.

On a chopping board turn the chicken over (breast-side down) with the cavity facing toward you
Using heavy duty scissors or a very sharp knife, cut down either side of the backbone and remove
Turn the chicken over (breast-side up) and press down to flatten the carcass
Insert metal skewers diagonally through each thigh right through the bird to hold it flat


This method can be also be used for other poultry and game, such as quail, poussin and pigeon.

Serving suggestions

Spatchcock chickens lend themselves especially well to barbecuing but can also be cooked under a grill or in the oven. Try marinating the chicken for a few hours before to add extra flavour. Josh Eggleton serves his spatchock chicken with coleslaw while Adam Gray serves his Summer marinated spatchcock chicken and recommends a simple salad.

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