Roasted Spatchcock Chicken is moist, flavorful meat. The crispy skin is coated with a delicious rub. Spatchcock refers to the easy preparation method. A dinner winner!
According to MarthaStewart.com, spatchcocking means removing the backbone so the chicken lays flat rather than upright during roasting.
A flatter chicken means the drumsticks and thighs are also exposed to direct oven heat. The results are juicy breast, juicy thighs, crispy and evenly browned skin.
Start with a clean, dry chicken with breast side down on clean cutting board (or other surface).
Thrilled to say this was my first Roasted Spatchcock Chicken and it turned out great! Very, very easy to make.
This quarantine has me feeling creative. Great time to learn something new in my opinion.
What is a spatchcock chicken?
I learned this technique by watching a video tutorial and reading a printable recipe from Kevin is Cooking. Both have excellent instructions! For my first try, I used a “small” cornish hen. Easier to manage than a large chicken.
After rinsing the chicken, use paper towels to pat until thoroughly dry. The dry skin will turn nice and crisp while roasting.
To get started, place chicken breast side down on a large plate or cutting board. Use a pair of kitchen scissors or poultry shears to cut away the backbone, the small piece of fat around the neck and miscellaneous pieces of fat hanging off the edges.
I’ve seen recipe videos in which chefs flatten the chicken with their hands after removing the backbone. Gets the job done.
Be sure to thoroughly cover the areas under the wings and beneath the legs with the dry rub mixture.
Minimum Safe Temperature
According to the USDA, chicken must be cooked to the minimum safe temperature of 165 F (73.9 C) (all parts). Insert thermometer into the thickest part of a thigh, but not touching bone or gristle.
Since chicken parts are irregularly shaped, be sure to check the temperature in several pieces.
How To Read & Follow A Recipe
Reading a recipe is an important life skill. It starts with knowing how to read a recipe’s ingredients, follow the instructions, prep ingredients, and knowing what equipment to use.
The following tips and strategies will help beginners or experienced cooks create a delicious dish as intended in the recipe.
Start with clean hands and organized kitchen. Wash hands thoroughly. Make sure kitchen and countertops are clean before making a recipe.
Create a relaxing environment. Play favorite music while in the kitchen. I love listening to classical or gospel music.
Read the recipe. Don’t just quickly skim it. Thoroughly read from start to finish. Visualize doing each step which will help you avoid missing a step.
If you see ingredient that you and your family don’t use for whatever reason, use a substitutions or omit the ingredient.
My recipes are packed with helpful tips like shortcuts and serving sizes which save time time and help with meal planning.
Pay attention to the order in which ingredients are prepped. For example, 1 cup of chopped pecans is not the same as pecans, chopped (measure whole pecans and then chop).
Know the assumptions. For example, when my recipe calls for “sugar,” use granulated sugar. If brown sugar is an ingredient, it will be written as such in the recipe.
Figure out the timing. Check the listed “prep time” and “total time” to be sure you have enough time to complete the recipe.
Look for hints, such as the words “meanwhile” or “at the same time,” which indicate two or more steps can happen simultaneously.
For example, my prep time doesn’t include bringing cold butter up to room temperature. Be sure to include in your timetable.
Watch Recipe Videos. If you’re a visual learner (like me), watch recipe videos. Perfect for when you’re learning a new skill or just want to see how a recipe is made.
Mise en place is a super time saver. This French cooking term translates as “putting in place.” It means prepping/measuring ingredients and chopping food before you start cooking. It’s the perfect way to get organized and avoid missing an ingredient or missing a step in the instructions.
Organize your tools and kitchen equipment. Mise en place isn’t just for ingredients. Before starting, make sure you have parchment paper, aluminum foil, measuring cups, measuring spoons, the right pans, mixing bowls, and other equipment.
Make notes in your recipe. Note any special prep instructions and highlight cooking times. Make note of ingredients omitted, favorite substitutions and creative twists. The notes will be very helpful the next time you make this recipe.
An Elegant Pose (Crossed Legs)
To achieve this look, gently tuck wing tips behind the chicken to prevent overcooking. The tips cook fast and will turn dark brown very quickly.
Fold legs together as pictured. Tuck a toothpick in meaty section of both legs to hold the together while roasting. Remove toothpick before serving.