I have been wanting to share a “Spatchcock” recipe with you guys for years, but truthfully it is usually simply too good to wait for the photo-op – ie. it’s gone before I realize that I haven’t taken any photos! This time, I was determined to share it with you guys. So, we let it rest for a few minutes longer – enough time to take a few photos – and it quick frankly just make it better.
The best thing about a spatchcocking something is it really takes a lot less time to cook – you’re exposing more surface area to the heat at one time – and, it a heck of a lot easier to maneuver on the BBQ. Grab a good solid pair of tongs, and you’ll have a juicy and delicious Spatchcock Chicken in now time! Now, first of all, what is spatchcocking…. simple, removing the backbone, so the meat lays flat. It really is easy to do yourself, but no one is expecting you to. Your butcher will happily do it. And if you ask nicely, he may even trim the wing-tips and French the drumsticks (thanks babe! 😉 ). If you decide you want to be adventurous.. Great! Grab yourself a roasting chicken (typically called a “fryer”). Pull out your trusty kitchen scissors (a good heavy duty pair), flip the bird up-side-down – ie. so that the breasts are lying on the cutting board, and you’ve exposed the back-bone – and simply snip up the length of the back-bone on both sides. Open the chicken up like a book, flip it right-side-up again (the breasts are now up), and arrange the legs so the chicken is as flat as you can make it. Don’t worry about the wing-tips and Frenching business. Let’s master the spatchcocking part before we get into that. 😉
Now, you’re ready for the recipe!
Lemon & Herb Spatchcock Chicken
Serves 4 – 6
- 1 spatchcock chicken
- 1 lemon, 1/2 juiced for marinade, 1/2 reserved for serving
- 1/2 cup fresh herbs, chopped finely – we used oregano, thyme, basil, and dill
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Coarse salt & pepper
Heat your grill to medium-high heat. A spatchcock chicken is really for the BBQ – if you’re going to do this in the oven, don’t waste your time spatchcocking – just roast the chicken whole.
Rinse the chicken, and pat dry. Place the bird on a cutting board, and evenly season with salt and pepper – on both sides. When finished seasoning, lay the bird breast side up.
In a bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and fresh herbs.
Using an up-side-down spoon, gently separate the skin from the flesh of the bird – do not tear the skin (!). Pour 3/4’s of the marinade in the little pocket you have created. And gently push it around to evenly distribute. You’re now ready for the grill!
Clean and oil the grill well. Lay the bird breast side down, and brush or sprinkle the remaining marinade over the inside of the bird. Close the lid on the grill, and cook until the internal temperature reads 155-160F, flipping the bird every so often to ensure even cooking and caramelization. Remove the bird from the grill to a cutting board, and let rest for 10 – 15 minutes. Your final internal temperature should be around 160F – 165F.
Take a sharp knife, and cut the bird in half lengthwise (between the breasts), and then remove the wings, and legs – cut where the natural joints lie. Sprinkle with a little lemon, and any remaining fresh herbs lying around. Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd. Done. We had this delicious bird with a little Spinach, Green Bean, and Feta Salad. The perfect light, and healthy meal for a hot summer night.