1 – 1.5 hours(Approx)
Spatchcock is the term used for a whole chicken with the backbone removed, opened out and the breast plate broken to allow it to lay flat.
The main benefits with this method of preparation are reduced cooking time and a more even cook across the chicken.
Cooked to temperature, the results are slightly smoked juicy meat with seasoned crispy skin. Perfect served with a fresh salad, in soft pitas, tortilla wrap, rice or roasted/grilled veg. Versatile, tasty and easy – it’s a popular choice!
We recommend using our pre prepared, pre marinated spatchcock chickens available online and in store for this technique. These require no trimming, simply remove from the packaging, discard the black pieces of material (bone guard for packaging purposes) and allow to reach room temperature. If using a whole plain chicken, check out the recipe notes for advice on how to spatchcock.
Our pre prepared spatchcock chicken’s come in 4 different flavour marinades. Lemon Pepper, Moroccan, Souvlaki or Buffalo. These all give great flavour and require no further seasoning. If you are doing your own, give the chicken a light coat of your favourite chicken rub all over. See notes for advice.
Get your BBQ of choice set up for indirect cooking and running at a consistent temperature around 350f/175c.
Once the meat is at room temperature, place the chicken onto the BBQ skin side up. The carcass of the bird will protect the meat from cooking too quick, allowing time for the smoke flavour to penetrate and the skin to crisp up.
Cook for 45 minutes, check the meat with an internal read thermometer and pay attention to how the skin is looking. Ensure to check the leg/thigh and breast temperatures, being larger the breast takes longer to cook. Rotate the chicken on the grill if some areas of the skin are crisping more than others. Continue cooking in 10-15 minute intervals until ALL parts of the chicken return an internal temperature reading of 162f/72c. Spritz any areas of the skin that may need cooling before the meat reaches temp.
Remove the chicken from the BBQ and place on a board, wrap in thick foil and leave for 15 minutes. This step is crucial for 2 reasons. It will allow the chicken to continue cooking from carry over heat, raising the internal temperature to a safe eating figure of 165f/74c. It also allows the meat to relax and absorb all the juices before serving.
Once rested, remove from the foil and place back on the board. Use a sharp knife to cut between the bones and separate the leg, thigh and breast sections. Slice, pull or bite your way through lightly smoked, moist meat with a crispy skin coating.
Whole Chicken: If you would prefer to spatchcock and season your own bird then it is relatively simple to do, with the right tools. Either a strong, sharp pair of kitchen scissors/poultry shears or a sharp boning knife are key. Lay the chicken breast side down and cut along either side of the back bone to remove. Flip the chicken over, push down firmly between the 2 breasts to break the breast plate, allowing the bird to sit flat on the board. Pat dry and remove any loose remains.
Season your meat: We recommend trying one of our amazing pre marinated flavours, including Lemon Pepper, Moroccan, Souvlaki or Buffalo. If using a plain chicken, salt the skin and leave for a couple of hours to dry it out. Remove excess then use a rub with a flavour profile that suits how it is going to be served i.e Souvlaki/herb based for Pita’s or Sweet & Heat for wraps and rice. Apply evenly to the skin and bone side, allowing to sit for a further 2 hours minimum to absorb the seasoning.
Smoke Flavour: Depending if you are using a Pellet, Charcoal or Offset smoker, you will have different options regarding smoke flavour profile. For pellet smokers, our range of fruit wood & all purpose pellets work really well with Chicken. If using charcoal, our range of slow burn wood chunks work really well when used during a cook. 2 to 3 chunks is normally enough to get good smoke flavour for a full cook.
Cook: Each BBQ cooks differently. Use this technique as a guide and make notes relevant to your cooker regarding times, temperatures of the BBQ & meat as well as the end result. If the skin was too charred – lower the temp or place further away from the heat source. Not crispy enough – raise temperature or place closer to the heat source. Potentially flip the chicken and cook skin side down over direct heat for a few minutes is another technique that can be used. Learn, adjust, perfect!
Rest: This is important for every cook but especially this one. Chicken has to reach a minimum temperature of 165f/74c to be safely consumed. Whilst it can be above this, the meat will be at its best as close to this figure. This resting technique allows the carry over heat to gradually bring it up to perfect serving temperature and retain moist and juicy meat, rather than over cooking it slightly.