1. Food
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Spatchcocked Chicken


Spatchcocked Chicken

Spatchcocked Chicken

Photo © Molly Watson
Spatchcocked Chicken has been "butterflied," or had its backbone removed so you can open it up and grill it flat. It cooks quicker and more evenly than a regular whole chicken. This one is covered with a thick paste of garlic, parsley, rosemary, lemon, and olive oil for great flavor.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 1 Grilled Chicken


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 3 shallots
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Rinse the chicken and pat it thoroughly dry. Put the chicken, breast side down, on a cutting board. Use kitchen shears to cut along both sides of backbone and open chicken like a book. Reserve the backbone for stock, if you like, or discard. Turn the chicken breast side up and use the heel of your hand to press against the breastbone until it cracks. You might want to tuck the wing tips under the breast so they don't flop around too much or burn on the grill. Put the chicken in a large rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan.
  2. Put the shallots and garlic in a food processor, pulse to mince. Add parsley and rosemary leaves and pulse, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add salt, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard, and olive oil. Pulse to make a thick paste.
  3. Rub the paste all over the chicken. Cover and chill at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  4. Prepare a grill for indirect medium heat (you can hold your hand about an inch above the cooking grate for 5 seconds). If using gas, turn all burners to high, close lid, and heat 10 minutes. Then turn off one of the burners and reduce heat for other burner(s) to medium. The area over the turned-off burner is the indirect-heat area. If using charcoal, light about 60 briquets on the fire grate. Once the coals are covered with ash, about 20 minutes, divide the coals into two banks on opposite sides of the fire grate or, if the grill is smaller, into a circle around the outside edge of the fire grate. The area over the section cleared of coals is the indirect-heat area.
  5. Place the chicken, skin-side down, over the direct heat. Cover the grill and cook until the chicken is browned and grill-marked, about 10 minutes. Turn chicken over and move to the indirect heat area of the grill. If using charcoal, add 10-12 more briquets to the fire in order to maintain medium heat. Continue cooking chicken, covered, turning as needed for even browning, until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast to the bone registers 160°F, 25 to 35 minutes more. Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest 15 minutes. Cut chicken into quarters and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.