What the Heck is Spatchcocked Chicken ?

Spatchcocked chicken is a a whole chicken which the backbone is removed and it is flattened to even the cooking time for the entire chicken.  In Mexico and Hawaii the grilled chicken stands frequently use this method. In Italy they top weight the chicken that is handle this way, Pollo al Matteone which means "chicken under bricks".

How to Spatchcock your Chicken

Try our Fra Diavolo Spice Rub on your grilled spatchcocked chicken, a flavorful and easy recipe.

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Spatchocked Chicken with Fra Diavolo Rub 

Rinse your chicken and remove any excess fat. Holding the chicken upright with the back towards you using a sharp chefs knife cut down along the backbone all the way to the tail. Make sure that your hands are nowhere near the downward motion and cutting edge. Repeat on the other side of the backbone.  Discard the back or save it for the stockpot.  Spread the chicken and press it flat..  

Spanish Flavored Spatchcocked Chicken

Our first recipe for Spatchcocked chicken is Spanish influenced with smoked paprika and sherry vinegar and we spatchcock the whole chicken to adapt it for cooking on the grill. To bring more flavors we place some of the marinade and onions under the skin, with the olive oil this also helps crisp up the skin a bit too. 

We will be getting a picture of this nice dish up pretty soon, an overzealous guest ripped off a wing off my chicken prior to photo while walking back to the kitchen.  The chicken looked great and would have made a great photo! The bird still tasted great and it gives my an excuse to make it again soon!

4 Servings

1 4lb whole chicken spatchcocked

5 garlic cloves chopped

1 white onion small halved and sliced very thin

1 red onion small halved and sliced very thin

3 tablespoons smoked sweet Spanish paprika 

1/3 cup Spanish sherry vinegar

½ cup Spanish olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

Place the onions, garlic, paprika, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl stir until well combined.

Loosen the skin on the chicken by sliding your fingers under the skin and moving to the back.  Place a tablespoon or two of the onion paprika mixture under the skin and distribute over the breast.  Place the chicken on a sheet or roasting pan and rub the mixture all over the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least one and up to four hours. 

Prepare your grill for indirect heat around 325 to 350 degrees. 

Figure your cooking time at somewhere around 20 minutes per pound. Depending on the temperature of your grill, start checking at around 15 minutes per pound. Using a thermometer check for an internal temp of 165 at the thickest part of the thigh. Pull your chicken off the grill and let it rest for 15 minutes. Protect your chicken from overzealous guests snatching the wings off.

I served this with some fresh zucchini sauteed with a little garlic and olive oil. Grilled potatoes would make a nice starch. For a wine choice I like a Spanish or California Tempranillo or a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon such as Los Vascos. 

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