The word “spatchcock,” according to Webster, refers to a chicken or game bird that has been split and grilled. It can be a noun or verb, but semantics aside, it’s an easy way to grill a whole chicken in only 45 minutes. The result is a moist, juicy bird with a crisp skin and delicious grilled flavor.
- 4 to 5 lb whole chicken
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt, see notes
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Freshly ground black pepper
- To split the chicken, use a pair of poultry shears to remove the backbone by cutting on either side of it from the open side of the cavity toward the neck. Once the backbone is removed, lay the chicken skin side up and flatten it by pressing firmly on the breastbone with the heel of your hand.
- Combine the olive oil, salt, garlic powder and a few grinds of black pepper in a small bowl. Brush the chicken on both sides with the mixture and set aside while you prepare the grill.
- Preheat a gas or charcoal grill for indirect grilling over medium heat (see instructions below). Once the grill is preheated, oil the grates and start cooking the chicken by placing it skin side down directly over the flame or coals. Cover the grill and cook for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and has nice grill marks.
- Using tongs, turn the chicken skin side up and move it to the indirect heat side of the grill. Cover again and continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 160°F, approximately 25 to 35 minutes. Check several times during cooking and rotate if necessary for even browning. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 minutes prior to carving.