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Spatchcock Chicken

By Well Seasoned Studio

Spatchcock chicken is the easiest way to cook a whole bird in the least amount of time. Dry brine the bird the evening before and leave uncovered in a refrigerator to help make the skin extra crispy. A delicious chicken dinner that requires very little effort.


Serves 8



1 6-7 lb spatchcock chicken (see instructions below)


For the dry rub

3 Tbsp kosher salt

3 Tbsp brown sugar

2 Tbsp sweet paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper


For the sauce

¼ cup California Sun Dry tomato halves

1 cup basil leaves

1 lemon zested

¼ cup chives or scallions thinly sliced

¼ cup dill

1 large clove garlic

½ tsp kosher salt

½- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil



Dry brine

In a small bowl, combine kosher salt, brown sugar, paprika, and cayenne pepper, then whisk to combine.

Place spatchcocked chicken on a rimmed baking sheet, then pat dry with paper towels. Rub spice blend on all sides of the bird, making sure to cover every bit of skin. Let sit uncovered in a refrigerator overnight, or about 8 hours.


To make sun dried tomato herb sauce

Combine all sauce ingredients except olive oil in a food processor fitted with blade attachment, then pulse until finely chopped. With motor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil until mostly smooth. I like a little texture in mine, but you can absolutely purée the sauce if you prefer.


To cook

We're using indirect cooking for most of our cook time. Preheat grill over medium-high heat so that 1 (or 2) grate(s) will have direct heat, while remaining grates are turned off. Tip: you need a space as large as the spatchcocked chicken to have NO DIRECT HEAT underneath.

When hot, add chicken skin-side down over direct heat for 5 minutes, then flip and move to indirect heat. Chicken will cook for 30-40 minutes, or until an internal temperature of 165F is reached. Allow chicken to cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting. Carve chicken and serve immediately with sauce on the side for serving.



Dry rub: Can be made far in advance and will keep as long as typical spices remain fresh (so months and months!)

Sauce: The sauce can be made 1-2 days ahead and stored in a refrigerator until needed. Let sit at room temperature for ~20 minutes before serving if oil has seized a bit.

Chicken: The easiest way to spatchock a chicken is to have your butcher do it for you. If you’re into doing it yourself, follow the following instructions:

To spatchcock a chicken or turkey, first grab a pair of kitchen shears. Make sure the chicken is breast side up. Use the shears to cut along each side of the back bone, beginning from the the tail end and working your way up towards the neck cavity. Remove the backbone (and any giblets inside the bird). You can store these in a freezer safe container and use them next time you make chicken stock. 

Next, simply take hold of the edges you just cut on the chicken and open the bird up like a book. Turn over so the cavity is face down on your cutting board, then use your hands to forcefully press down on one of the breastbones. You should hear a loud crack. Repeat on the other breastbone.

Make sure to allow chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving and serving to allow the natural juices time to reabsorb.


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