- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
Spatchcocking--also known as butterflying--is a cooking method for poultry. In this case, we're dealing with chicken. The word "spatchcock" is rumored to have come from an old Irish phrase, "dispatch cock," which referred to their method of quickly slaughtering and cooking a chicken. Others point to different origins. Either way, it's a method that allows for much faster cooking of a whole bird. What might normally take you a couple of hours can be done in a fraction of that time. We'll show you how to spatchcock a chicken below:
To spatchcock the chicken, you will need the following:
- Sharp paring knife or kitchen shears
- Large cutting board
Start by preheating your pellet grill to 300° F. Rinse the chicken, check that the body cavity is clear of any fat and juices, and cut off the tail. Pat dry. Lay the chicken on the cutting board, spine side up (wings pointed down).
Find the top of the spine at the neck cavity and begin cutting down one side. Try to stay as close to the spine as possible so you don't accidentally cut off any meat. You can also try scoring the skin down one side before cutting all the way through--this might help you find where you should cut. As you come to the base of the spine, you'll notice that it widens toward the leg joints. Score through the skin, feel for the joint and cut through it. Repeat on the other side of the spine.
When you've finished with the spine, spread the chicken out flat. Feel for the sternum in the middle, where the neck cavity was. There is a section of cartilage there that you will need to cut through. Do that, then use your hands to finish splitting the sternum vertically. Flip the chicken over (skin side up) and press on the sternum to lay the bird flat.
Finish by seasoning with your favorite rub or marinade. Brining the bird beforehand also works well. Throw the chicken on the pellet grill, skin side up, and insert meat probe into the breast. Cook until 155° F if you plan to sear each side for 3 minutes, or until 165° F with no searing.