The spatchcock or butterfly technique allows for quick and even cooking poultry like chicken or turkey. Learn this easy method to save time while maximizing taste!
Learning how to spatchcock chicken is a handy technique that is worth the effort. By removing the backbone of the bird and laying it flat on a pan will result in an even cook throughout the whole chicken. Spatchcocking aka “butterflying,” gets its name due to the poultry takes on a winged shape once cut and flattened.
There are three main advantages compared to the traditional roast: even cooking, crispy skin, and faster cooking.
First, more even cooking of the breast and thigh are encouraged as they are both exposed to similar amounts of heat while laying flat. Second, the skin becomes crisper due to the increased surface area and almost equal exposure to the heating element in the oven. Lastly, cooking time is faster because the meat becomes relatively thinner to cook, cutting down the time nearly in half!
How To Spatchcock Chicken
With several benefits to this cooking technique, it’s time to give it a try!
STEP 1: Remove the Backbone
Use very sharp and robust heavy-duty kitchen shears to cut alongside the backbone of the chicken. Cut a straight line down from the neck to tail. Repeat on the other side of the spine.
STEP 2: Discard the Backbone
After cutting alongside the spine of the chicken, you can discard or save the backbone to use for stock. Removing the backbone allows for the poultry to be opened up and flattened for cooking.
STEP 3: Flatten the Poultry
Flatten the chicken by placing the skin side up on cutting board and applying firm pressure with the heel of your hand to the breastbone. The goal is to allow the legs and wings to open up so that it cooks on the same plane as the breast meat for even cooking time.
STEP 3: Place on Pan
Instead of cooking the poultry on a roasting rack, it is set on a large sheet pan on top of a wire rack. This allows the bird to be fully opened up, with hot air circulating beneath for fast and even cooking. Target a doneness of 150-165°F for the breasts, and 165-170°F for the thighs.
Some Recipes To Try
Now that you have a step-by-step-guide to spatchcock, I recommend you try these tasty recipes to see how fast dinner can get on the table!