How To Spatchcock A Chicken

Spatchcock Chicken served on a baking tray with watercress and wedges of lime
  • 4 servings
  • 45 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken to prepare
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  • 1 whole chicken
  • Spice mix or marinade of choice


It’s really easy to spatchcock your chicken, it speeds up the cooking process and you can add your favourite flavours to the mix and even cook it on the barbecue.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas mark 4.
  2. Place the chicken onto a large chopping board used for raw meat preparation. Turn the chicken upside down breast side onto the board with the neck of the bird closest to you.
  3. Locate the backbone. Using kitchen scissors or poultry shears cut all the way along one side of the backbone. Keep close to the backbone, the scissors with cut through quite easily. Repeat along the other side of the backbone to remove completely. Discard the backbone.
  4. Still with the chicken breast side down and the neck of the bird closest to you, look along the bird for the piece of connecting cartilage where the breast bone starts. This is currently preventing the bird from lying completely flat. Using a knife make a small incision approximately 1 cm deep. Use your fingers either side of the incision to bend the bird backwards to pop the sternum. This will ensure your chicken lies flat.
  5. Turn the bird over and tuck the wing tips in and under to help the bird lie flat.
  6. Use a sharp knife to score the skin and flesh, rub a spice mix or marinade of your choice directly onto the skin. Roast for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through and the juices run clear.