BY CECKA PARKS
In order to spatchcock a chicken (or turkey or duck), you need a bird, a board, and a sharp pair of kitchen shears or a sharp knife or cleaver. The process takes a few minutes—but it will cut down on your cooking time by quite a bit. I highly recommend you go buy yourself a whole chicken and give it a try!
6 Steps to Spatchcock a Bird (see a visual step-by-step below)
- Place the bird breast side down on the cutting board.
- Find the opening through the neck or the tail end. With knife or shears, start cutting down one side of the spine. If you have a knife, it is easier to start the top of the chicken and cut downward. If you have shears, it is easier to start cutting at the base and moving to the top. Go about ½ way down and stop. Then move to the other side and cut about ½ way down. Doing both sides this way will help you by keeping the carcass from opening up too much.
- Finish cutting the rest of the way and rotate your bird. If you’re finding a lot of resistance, double-check to make sure you are cutting through the ribs and not the spine.
- Once the back is removed, you should see the inside of the chicken “butterflied” before you. Flip it over so that the chicken breasts are facing you and the legs are on either side.
- Gently place your hands on the top of the breastbone and press down, using a little bit of force. The carcass should flatten easily. If not, you may need to flip the bird back over to make a cut inside the breast cavity to ease the break.
- Congratulations! You just spatchcocked the chicken, and you are well on your way to a wonderful meal on the grill or in the oven. Find our recipe for Simple Grilled Spatchcock Chicken here!