How to Spatchcock a Chicken

Spatchcock chicken

A faster way to roast a chicken than the conventional method

The spatchcock method of preparing a chicken means that the bird will cook quicker than simply placing the entire chicken in the oven. It will also not be as dry and it’s easier to season with herbs this way.

Spatchcock chicken

The following easy steps show how to spatchcock a chicken. A good pair of poultry shears or kitchen scissors is required for this.

How to Spatchcock a Chicken

1. Prep your chicken

Remove any neck parts and gizzards – these can be kept if you want to make homemade chicken stock for soups and other recipes. If not, discard them and place the chicken, breast-side down, on a cutting board.

2. Remove the backbone

Spatchcock chicken Cuts
Look at these high tech illustrations!

Using either a pair of poultry shears or kitchen scissors for this step, cut along each side of the backbone from the tail to the neck. This can also be added to homemade chicken stock, if you plan on doing so, if not it can be  discarded.

Spatchcock chicken Backbone

3. Flatten the chicken.

Flip the chicken over.  Press down on the middle of the chicken until the bone cracks, which you’ll hear.
Spatchcock chicken Press here to break

Your chicken is now ready for you to use. You can sprinkle with dried herbs and then place in the oven or on a barbeque, paying attention that it is thoroughly cooked.

Looking for a recipe now that you know how to spatchcock? Here’s one we made earlier: lemon and thyme spatchcock chicken.

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Spatchcock chicken How to




I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers, which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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