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Spatchcocking: The ancient secret to chicken dinner success

Spiced Spatchcock Chicken<br />Photography by Jodi Pudge Author: Canadian Living Credits: Spiced Spatchcock Chicken<br />Photography by Jodi Pudge

Cooking School

Spatchcocking: The ancient secret to chicken dinner success

Spatchcock, v., to split and flatten small poultry by removing the backbone and pressing on the breastbone.

"Spatchcock" is an old Irish term abbreviated from the phrase "dispatch cock", an order barked at cooks to get the chicken off the spit and out to the customer. Flattening a whole chicken over direct heat allows the cook to grill the meat in under an hour.

A spatchcocked chicken is similar in nature to a butterflied shrimp.

Why should you spatchcock your whole chicken? 

  • Opening the bird decreases cooking time, which keeps the meat moist.
  • Because of even exposure to heat, the thighs, legs and breast cook more evenly than when cooking a whole bird.

Tip:
 When grilling a spatchcocked bird, grill over indirect heat to prevent skin from burning.

How to spatchcock a chicken:
  • Using sharp kitchen scissors, cut bird down each side of backbone and remove bone.
  • Turn breast side up; press firmly on breastbone to flatten.
  • Tuck wings behind back. If desired, insert crisscrossed metal or wooden skewers to keep bird flat.
  • Grill or roast as desired.

Spatchcock chicken recipes by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen:

Click anywhere on the video below to watch how to remove the backbone of a whole chicken:



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Cooking School

Spatchcocking: The ancient secret to chicken dinner success

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