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How to Spatchcock A Chicken


I know spatchcock is a funny name, but it simply refers to how the chicken is cooked. It means that you open the chicken up like a book and cook it flat. My dad makes spatchcock chicken out on the grill a lot, and every time I’ve had his spatchcock chicken or made my own it’s cooked to perfection – a juicy inside with a crispy crust, it’s well worth the effort! Plus, it doesn’t take as long to cook as a whole chicken. So let’s get started!


OK, to get started you will need to get yourself a sharp pair of kitchen scissors and then place the chicken breast side down on a cutting board. While it’s not hard to spatchcock a chicken, it is a bit gross, so prepare yourself!


Start by cutting along each side of the backbone.



And cut all the way through until you remove the entire backbone. You can discard it, or save it to make homemade chicken stock :)



Now, open up the chicken and use a super sharp knife to cut through the bone in the middle of the chicken until the bone snaps open and it lays flat. You might even hear a little popping sound - EW!


Now, wash your hands to prepare the cookie sheet and the seasonings. For the cookie sheet, just line it with foil for easy cleanup and then place a wire rack on top. The wire rack allows air to circulate under the chicken so it cooks evenly.


Then, for the spice mixture, you can use about anything you want – there are thousands of great rubs and marinades for chicken. But for my chicken I brushed the bird with about 2 Tbsp. of olive oil so it will nicely brown and get crispy then I mixed together some paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and Montreal Steak Seasoning in a small bowl bowl and rubbed it all over the bird – kind of a rustic, Cajun blend :)

Then, put the bird on the wire rack breast side up and then tuck the wings behind it’s back like it’s sunbathing on a lounge chair :)

Now place it in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until cooked through – and that’s it, now you have a perfect spatchcocked chicken!!!

 Note- This Italian seasoning from Rachael Ray also looks delish!!!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Spatchcock Chicken
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 1 4 Lb. Whole Chicken
  • 1 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Chili Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper, optional (to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp. Oil of Choice (olive oil, melted coconut oil, etc...)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a cookie sheet with foil and then place a wire rack on top of it, set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. Place the chicken on a cutting board breast side down.
  4. Using sharp kitchen scissors, cut out the backbone. Then, open up the chicken.
  5. Use a sharp knife to cut though the bone in the middle of the chicken until the chicken will lay flat.
  6. Brush the chicken with the oil then sprinkle or rub the spice mixture all over the chicken.
  7. Place the chicken breast side up on the wire rack and tuck the wings behind it's back, like it's laying out in a lounge chair :)
  8. Bake for 45 - 50 minutes or until cooked through. Allow to rest 10 minutes before cutting into.


this post is part of Fat Tuesday Allergy Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Fridays, and Gluten Free & DIY Tuesday

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  1. I ADORE SPATCHCOCK SO MUCH!!! Reminds me of my dad :) He makes it on the grill when I visit and its just so juicy! I want him to do it with our 18 pound Thanksgiving turkey LOL

  2. While I’ve never spatchcocked a chicken before, friends have raved over it—one even does her Thanksgiving turkey that way–and I need to do it! Thanks for the reminder and great tutorial, Cassidy! :-) And thanks, too, for sharing this post on Gluten-Free Wednesdays!


    • Thanks Shirley! I really like this method because it turns out perfect every time and doesn’t take to long to cook… you are the 2nd one to mention spatchcocking a turkey, I might have to try that!!!

      Hope you are doing well!


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