Spatchcocking is probably the most intimidating way to cook a chicken for regular home cooks. Instagram and YouTube chefs all seem to do it effortlessly, but how do you actually do it without ruining the chicken?
It turns out that it is actually incredibly easy to do at home; you just need a chicken and a pair of strong poultry shears!
If you can’t find poultry shears, you can use a regular pair of kitchen scissors as long as make sure to sharpen them beforehand.
Step 1: Make the Cut
Using your sharp poultry shears or kitchen scissors, start cutting alongside the spine of the chicken with firm, stiff cuts. It will probably start off a bit challenging, but as you start to cut through, it will start to get easiest.
To help guide your shears, grip the tip part of the chicken that sticks out of the rest of the carcass – this is actually called the chicken’s rump.
Cut all the way alongside the spine, making to cut through any small bones or bits of cartilage that you find as you go through.
Step 2: Mirror the Cut
Once you’ve cut all the way through one side of the spine, take your shears and start doing the same thing on the other side of the spine.
This cut will be a bit harder because you won’t have as much stability with gripping the chicken as one side is already broken away. You also need to take care not to cut yourself on any of the sharp exposed rib bones.
Same as before, cut all the way down the spine using your shears with firm, determined cuts until you reach the very end.
Step 3: Peel Away the Spine
Once you’ve cut all the way down the spine on both sides, grip the spine firmly with one hand and peel it away from the carcass. You might need to tear it away from the carcass, especially if there is any stray fat or cartilage clinging to the spine.
If needed, use your shears to sever any fat or cartilage, so that you don’t hurt yourself trying to remove the spine.
Don’t throw that spine away, though! Use it as a base for chicken stock or gravy to add a ton of rich, savory chicken flavor and plenty of gelatin as well.
Step 4: Break the Breastbone
Probably the most gruesome part of Spatchcocking any bird is that you now need to break the breastbone so that it lays flat.
Flip the chicken over so that the breasts are putting upwards and place your hands over one another right where the two breasts meet.
Using firm, downward pressure (almost like you are giving CPR!) push down on the chicken. If done right, you should hear the breastbone audibly snap and separate, and the chicken should now be laying flat. You can see in the photo below how the breast is flattened now.
Step 6: Lay Out Your Spatchcocked Chicken
Now, you’re all done! The only thing you need to do is to lay your Spatchcocked chicken on a sheet pan and top it with your favorite seasonings and other ingredients to make a great roast chicken.
Using a delicious herb butter, like in our Spatchcock Chicken recipe, will help ensure that your chicken will not only cook evenly but come out deliciously tender and flavorful as well.
- Looking for more delicious chicken recipes? Try these:
Hope this helps inspire to try spatchcocking a chicken! It’s easier than you think!