I’ve noticed something while strolling through the meat section of our local markets that I find amusing. From the well-stocked chain stores, to the mega box stores and every kind of market in between that there is a new kind of chicken to be had in the meat section. It’s a Spatchcock chicken. Some have been rubbed with seasonings, others have slices of citrus tucked around them, while still others are draped in herbs such as Rosemary and Thyme. All are twice the price per pound of a regular whole chicken. I really don’t think that little sprig of herb or some spice or slices of citrus are worth the asking price. So it must be the chicken, right? After all, it’s a Spatchcock chicken – a special breed, right? It must be. This new bred of chicken has no backbone so as to spread out flat on a Styrofoam tray.
I’m sorry, but I’ve got to laugh. People, it’s just a chicken. No magic, no special breed. The only difference between a Spatchcock chicken and any other whole bird is that the meat is exposed, soaking in more of the seasonings, and the bird will cook one heck of a lot faster. If you still aren’t sure how to Spatchcock your chicken, there are a number of great websites dedicated to this process. It’s how I learned to flatten my chickens without ending up with a mutilated, “butchered” hunk of meat.
One of the real benefits, aside from the money saved by doing this yourself, is the time saved. A Spatchcocked chicken will cook up in half the time of a whole roasted chicken. That means now you don’t have to wait for the weekend, when time slows down, to enjoy a delicious bird from your backyard grill.
Brick House Spatchcock Grilled Chicken
1 whole Chicken (about 4 pounds)
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
Coarse Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh Lemon juice, divided
1 tablespoon fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
Build a moderate fire in the grill for indirect cooking. Heat grill to 400 degrees.
To Spatchcock the chicken, split the bird open like a book along the back, removing the backbone. Then flip the chicken over, press down on the breastbone and listen to it pop. That’s it, you’ve got a Spatchcock bird. Now expose the meat and season with garlic, oil, salt and black pepper.
Place chicken, skin side up, on the grill over indirect heat for about 18-20 minutes on one side. Turn over chicken and place foil-wrapped brick (or cast-iron skillet) crosswise atop chicken and continue to grill for an additional 8-10 minutes.
Remove brick and turn chicken again; then return the brick to chicken and continue to grill for another 10-15 minutes or until a probe thermometer placed in thickest part of thigh reads 160 degrees.
While the bird is grilling, squeeze the juice from one or two lemons to get two tablespoons. Set aside. Chop parsley for garnish and set aside.
Remove brick and transfer chicken to platter. Drizzle chicken with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and sprinkle with parsley and crushed red pepper.
Original Recipe: Nugget Market