Juicy meat, crispy skin, even cooking and awesome flavor are just a few of the ways that describe grilled spatchcocked chicken.
What the hell spatchcocked chicken you ask?
The term “spatchcock” is a 17th-century term with Italian-influence which in short says “dispatch the cock”. This means to open a chicken to cook it. This spatchcock procedure requires splitting the chicken and removing the backbone so that the chicken can be opened and flattened out for more even and much faster cooking.
Spatchcocking chicken is a way to get perfectly grilled chicken, but what is perfectly grilled chicken?
The best ways to describe perfect grilled chicken:
- Crispy skin, with a golden brown blistered surface all over with a light char.
- Moist and tender breast meat.
- Cooked through leg meat.
- A whole chicken presented cooked through, golden brown, with a light char.
Chicken is hard to cook evenly, due to its odd shape. If you are not careful it can turn into a bad grilled chicken.
The best ways to describe bad grilled chicken:
- Soft spots, with rubbery fat.
- Stringy, dry overcooked surface meat that is leathery in texture.
- Mutilated chicken, in pieces with rubbery skin and missing skin.
- Raw meat at the leg joint… This is the absolute worst result! NASTY!!
The Benefit of Spatchcocking Chicken
Spatchcocking a chicken cuts the grilling time in half, which means it doesn’t have to take all night to cook. For even more time savings and even cooking, you can use foiled covered bricks, which flatten the chicken even more and help to give it a nice even heat. The dark meat and white meat get ready at about the same time.
Grilled spatchcocked chicken under bricks will quickly become your new favorite way to grill chicken!
Grilling chicken using this method gives you flexibility and allows you to be more spontaneous with grilled chicken. You won’t believe how evenly spatchcocked chicken cooks up.
No brine is needed because there is no fear of drying out. Not to mention the presentation a grilled spatchcocked chicken can make on your guests along with its amazing flavor!
Here, let us show you the process…
How to Spatchcock a Chicken
STEP 1: Place the chicken breast side down on a clean work surface. Use kitchen shears to cut from the tail along both sides of the backbone.
Remove the backbone and discard it.
STEP 2: Turn the chicken over, so that it is breast side up. Use your hands to flatten the chicken. Press down firmly to crack the rib cage. The chicken should now lay flat on the surface.
STEP 3: Cut a small hole in the loose skin of the thigh and pull the end of each drumstick through the hole. This will keep the legs in place when placing on the grill. You can also do this with the tips of the wings if you have a problem keeping them against the breasts.
This recipe comes from our friends at Weber Grills. They sent us their New Real Grilling Cookbook in appreciation for one of our Instagram posts a few years ago. I only wish we had tried this recipe sooner!!
Once you spatchcock the chicken, season it with the rub mentioned in the recipe below or spice that beautiful bird up with any favorite rub you like.
You really don’t even need a barbecue sauce, but you could totally paint some on during the last 15 minutes of grilling if you so desire.
I loved the White Horseradish Barbecue Sauce that came along with Weber’s recipe, but I opted for more
This grilled spatchcocked chicken is our new favorite way to eat grilled chicken, because it saves us time, cooks evenly, and has a great presentation with amazing flavor. I believe the even cooking makes it even better than our old favorite Beer Can Chicken which tends to get a little too done on the legs.
If you are tired of working yourself to death outside over a hot grill to get chicken done, try this grilled spatchcocked chicken this Labor Day Weekend!
Enjoy this unofficial last week of summer!
Grilled Spatchcocked Chicken Under Bricks With White Horseradish Barbecue Sauce
- poultry shears or very sharp knife
- 2 foil-wrapped bricks or cast iron skillet
- instant-read thermometer
- grilling gloves
- freezer paper
- 1 whole chicken 4-5 pounds
- Horseradish White Barbecue Sauce (recipe to follow)
- 1 teaspoon prepared chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Horseradish White Barbecue Sauce
- 1 ¼ cups mayonnaise
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 teaspoons prepared horseradish
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice fresh
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- hot sauce to taste
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Prepare the Horseradish White Barbecue Sauce
- Whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour the barbecue sauce into a jar with lid. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour to allow the flavors to meld together.
Spatchcock The Chicken:
- Place the chicken breast side down on a clean work surface. Use kitchen shears to cut from the tail along both sides of the backbone. Remove the backbone and discard.
- Turn the chicken over, so that it is breast side up. Use your hands to flatten the chicken. Press down firmly to crack the rib cage. The chicken should now lay flat on the surface.
- Cut a small hole in the loose skin of the thigh and pull the end of each drumstick through the hole. This will keep the legs in place when placing on the grill.
- Combine the poultry rub ingredients together, then coat the chicken with the poultry rub generously on both sides.
Fire Up The Grill!
- Prepare the grill for indirect cooking and heat to 450 to 550 degrees F.
Grill The Chicken:
- Place the chicken, skin side down, over indirect heat. Place the foil-wrapped bricks on top of the chicken. Close the lid and grill until golden around the edges; about 25 minutes.
- Put on heat-resistant grilling gloves and remove the bricks. Using a large spatula and a set of tongs, carefully turn the chicken over ensuring that the skin remains intact and does not tear. Replace the bricks and close the lid. Continue to cook until the juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer reads between 160 and 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part; about 20 to 25 minutes more.
- Remove from the grill and allow the chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. Cut into serving pieces and serve warm with the Horseradish White Barbecue Sauce.
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