Grilled Spatchcock Chicken Recipe for tender, flavorful chicken that cooks evenly! Shows how to spatchcock a chicken & why it delivers moist chicken with incredible flavor.
I started grilling and even oven roasting every whole chicken this way a couple years ago.
My favorite part of the chicken is the dark meat, and when you grill or bake a whole chicken one of two things would happen, the dark meat would get soggy and turn to mush from sitting in its own juices in a baking pan or the dark meat would get overcooked on a grill while waiting for the breasts on top to come to temperature.
By spatchcocking the chicken, everything cooks at a more even temperature and in less time, making for a perfectly grilled or roasted chicken with little to no waste.
What is a spatchcock chicken?
Spatchcock chicken is simply when you cut the chicken, or other poultry, to open it up for grilling or roasting. It is another term for butterflying. By cutting out the backbone and flattening the bird out, it allows you to cook the chicken faster and more evenly.
- A Whole Chicken
- Olive Oil
- Brown Sugar
- Chili Powder
- Black Pepper
- Cayenne Pepper
How to Spatchcock a Chicken
Start off by pre heating your grill to medium high heat, about 400ºF.
Next you will need to prep the chicken. Remove your whole, thawed chicken from the refrigerator. Remove any innards and discard them.
Rinse the chicken off, inside and out. Pat dry the chicken with paper towels. Place the chicken on a cutting board, breast side down. Using kitchen or poultry shears, cut along both sides of the backbone, all the way through the rib bones.
Open the bird up and then flip it over. Using the heel of your hand, press down firmly on the breasts, flattening it out. You can discard the backbone, or freeze it and save it for later, to make homemade chicken stock.
Lightly coat both sides of the chicken with olive oil. This will not only help the rub adhere to the chicken, it will also help crisp up the skin.
Next you will want to mix all of the rub ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl. I like to mix the rub ingredients through a sifter, this allows the ingredients to mix together better. Liberally season both sides of the chicken.
Place the chicken on the grill, breast side down for 20 minutes. Flip the chicken over and finish grilling, breast side up. The chicken is done when the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast reaches 160 degrees.
Once the chicken has finished cooking, remove from the grill, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10-15 minutes.
After the chicken is done resting, carve, serve and enjoy!
Grilled Spatchcock Chicken Recipe
- 1 whole chicken
- Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons seasoning
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ½ tablespoon ground black pepper
- ½ tablespoon cayenne pepper
- Remove the thawed chicken from the refrigerator, remove the innards and rinse the bird off, inside and out. Pat dry the bird and place on a cutting board. With breast side down, using kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the backbone. Remove the backbone and discard or freeze and save for stock.
- Using the palm of your hand, press firmly down the breasts and flatten the bird out. Lightly coat the entire chicken with the olive oil.
- To make the rub, combine all of the ingredients together thoroughly. Apply the rub liberally to both sides of the chicken.
- Pre-heat your grill to about 400 degrees or medium-high heat.
- Place the chicken on the grill, breast side down for 20 minutes. Flip the chicken over and finish grilling, breast side up. The chicken is done when the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast reaches 160 degrees. Once the chicken has finished cooking, remove from the grill, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Once the chicken is done resting, carve, serve and enjoy!
Hungry for more? Try some more grilled chicken recipes!
- Easy Teriyaki Chicken Recipe
- BBQ Chicken with Pineapple Salsa Recipe
- Easy Smoked Chicken Legs Recipe
- Honey Glazed Chicken Wings Recipe
- Sweet and Spicy Grilled Sticky Chicken Recipe
- Cheesy Grilled Pineapple Chicken Recipe
How do you keep chicken moist on the grill?
There are a few things to keep in mind when trying to get really tender, juicy, grilled chicken breasts:
- Tenderize the chicken breast.
- Marinate the meat.
- Don’t over cook the chicken! When it reaches 165º F, it’s done.
What are some other seasonings I can use, instead of the rub?
If you don’t want to make your own rub, there are many different store bought or commercial rubs you can use. Some of my favorites to use on chicken are Pappy’s Choice Seasoning, McCormick’s Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Seasoning and Kinder’s Buttery Steakhouse Seasoning.
Place the chicken on your grill breast side down for about twenty minutes and then flip the bird over and cook, breast side up until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast reaches 165 degrees.
Remove the chicken from the grill, loosely cover with aluminum foil and let it rest.
After the chicken has rested, carve, serve and enjoy!!
Can this Grilled Spatchcock Chicken Recipe be prepared in the oven?
Yes, you can cook this recipe in your oven, I have on many occasions when I just didn’t feel like getting my grill going. There is nothing you need to change when roasting a spatchcock chicken in your oven.
You prepare the chicken the same way and you even pre heat the oven to 400 degrees like the recipe calls for when grilling. One thing I will add to the recipe when preparing in an oven is I will chop up and season some potatoes to roast with the spatchcock chicken.
The chicken and potatoes are done when the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F, this can take anywhere from forty to fifty minutes or even more, depending on the size of your bird.
Grilled Spatchcock Chicken Recipe will give you a mouth watering, moist delicious chicken that your family will ask you to grill for them all of the time. Grilled Spatchcock Chicken Recipe for tender, flavorful chicken that cooks evenly! Shows how to spatchcock a chicken & why it delivers moist chicken with incredible flavor.
Alice Stitchman says
What is the seasoning called for in the recipe?
It’s a homemade seasoning I gave directions for in the printable recipe.
Kirsten Keim says
Hi. I don’t see the homemade seasoning in the printable recipe. Could you share it?
It’s there- “Rub Ingredients”
Not sure you’re fully understanding the question – she’s asking what the extra 2 tbsp of rub called for in the list of rub ingredients is. It is listed directly below brown sugar.