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A Tasty Chicken Tip: The Spatchcock Method

Chicken can be a tricky thing to cook, especially in this weather when many of us are heading into our gardens for a bbq. Preparing your chicken using the ‘Spatchcocking’ method is definitely my go to on a hot summer’s day when the bbq comes out. Spatchcocking is a weird word, especially if you haven’t heard of it or the method before, but all it means is to split open poultry as a method of cooking it, whether it be roasting or grilling.

Spatchcocking – To remove the spine of a chicken and press down on the breast bone, so that the chicken lays completely flat during the cooking process.
Many people also refer to this as ‘butterflying’ used by popular restaurants such as Nando’s.

It has been said that once you spatchcock your chicken, you never go back! Cooking a chicken using this method is great for timing, this tends to be what people get nervous about when cooking chicken on a bbq. With this brilliant method, there are no legs & thighs vs breast drama, instead the completely flat bird ensures even cooking. As well as the easiness of the carve, significant reduction in roasting time, i’m not shocked at why so many people love this method.

The Method

(This method is for a full chicken)

  1. Start with removing the chicken from its initial packaging and place on a large chopping board. Pat the chicken down with paper towels and place the chicken breast downwards on the board. Ensure the neck is facing you.
  2. Take some poultry shears, ensuring they are of good quality, hold the neck in one hand and cut along one side of the chicken spine, separating it from the ribs. Cut as close to the spine as possible so that you do not remove any excess meat. Carry on and cut about 3/4 along the spine on one side, then repeat this on the other side of the spine. You can run your finger along the back of the chicken to identify the bone. Make sure you are holding the spine for leverage and continue to cut on both sides to remove it completely.
    (Tip: If this is starting to get difficult or  you are struggling, rotate the chicken so that the tail is facing you, allowing you to cut from the other side)

Audrey Spencer, owner

My passion for cooking stems from my childhood growing up on my family's farm. Mealtimes would often involve being joined by friends, family and neighbours, all eager to enjoy the wonderful farmhouse fayre. As a professional chef I’ve worked in award winning restaurants, boutique country house hotels, and even the Royal Palace! Today, I hope my recipes can help you to enjoy good food, and good company, in style.