How to spatchcock a chicken

Video guide to spatchcock chicken

Hi, I'm Marcus and I'm going to show you how to spatchcock a chicken.

Use sharp kitchen scissors

First of all, what you need is a whole chicken and a very good pair of kitchen scissors. What we're going to do is remove the backbone from the chicken. First of all, what I'm going to do is just take a little bit of that excess fat off.

And then, as you can see on the back here, you've got the backbone that goes across the chicken here and what we need to do is we need to trim down each side of this backbone so we can remove it and flatten it out to allow us to butterfly this.

Remove the backbone

So down the one side, just take your time with this. And the same on this one as well. Always using your finger just underneath just so you can identify where that bone is. Now we've got that backbone out, keep a hold of that because you could use that for a stock. Worth keeping hold of.

Now what we're going to do is turn this over. So you can see there we've got the butterflied chicken. What we're going to do is going to pop my hands on top of there and we're just going to push down and that's going to allow us to break that breastbone.

Position the skewers

There we go, now what we need to do is grab some pre-soaked skewers. The reason we're pre-soaking these is because we don't want them to burn in the oven. Next thing we do, grab your skewer, we're going to push that through and we're then going to push it through the breast as well. The reason we're doing this is to hold everything together when it's cooking. Same thing on the other side. Just keep your hand nice and flat so you're not going to go through and catch your fingers or anything.

There we go, that's popped through the other side. You can see there now, we've put our skewers on a diagonal, right across, and what that's doing is that's holding the chicken together and that's really going to keep it nice and firm when that's in the oven cooking.

We're going to grab our tray, pop the chicken inside there, and I want to give this a nice light marinade. So what I've got is some olive oil, a little bit of garlic and some rosemary. We're just going to pop that over the top of our skin, doesn't matter if some of the cloves go into the tray, that's fine. Make sure you get that into all the little bits, just to help to add some flavour. I'm going to pop a little bit of salt on top as well, just for a bit of seasoning.

Marinate the chicken

We've marinated our chicken now. One of the reasons we spatchcocked our chicken is because it reduces the cooking time, normally by about half compared to cooking a whole bird. I'm going to pop this in the oven but they are great on barbeques as well. I'm going to pop it in the oven at 180 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes.

Before I do that, I'm going to wash my hands because it's really important when you're dealing with raw chicken that you make sure you wash your hands thoroughly.

OK, so I've removed the spatchcocked chicken from the oven now. It's been in 35 minutes and I've placed it on to a nice clean board. One of the ways of checking whether it's cooked is just to place a skewer in the thicker part of the leg and just to let those juices come out and if they run clear, you know it's cooked through. As you can see, it's got a lovely golden colour and looks delicious.

And that's how you spatchcock a chicken.

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