Spatchcocked Grilled Chicken Recipe

by vitus
Spatchcocked Grilled Chicken

Are you tired of the same old grilled chicken routine? Does it always feel a bit dry or unevenly cooked? Well, my friends, there’s a game-changer in your midst: spatchcocked grilled chicken.

What Is Spatchcocked Grilled Chicken?

Spatchcocked grilled chicken, or butterflied chicken, is a method of preparing and cooking a whole chicken. To spatchcock a chicken, you remove the backbone so the chicken can be flattened out, making it cook more evenly and quickly on the grill.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken (3-5 lbs)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Optional Seasonings

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (for a kick)
  • Fresh herbs (optional): thyme, rosemary, parsley

Instructions:

Prep The Chicken:

  1. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
  2. I am using kitchen shears, which are cut along both sides of the backbone. Remove the backbone and discard (or save for making stock).
  3. Flip the chicken breast-side up and firmly press the breastbone to flatten it.

Seasoning:

  1. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil on both sides.
  2. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Rub your chosen spice blend all over the chicken, getting under the skin as well (if using).
  4. If using fresh herbs, place them under the skin of the breast and on top of the chicken.

Grilling:

  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat (around 350°F) with a two-zone heating setup (one side direct heat, one side indirect heat).
  2. Oil the grill grates to prevent sticking.
  3. Place the chicken on the indirect heat side of the grill, skin-side up.
  4. Grill for 30-40 minutes or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh reaches 145°F.

Tip:

  1. Use a digital instant-read thermometer for accurate temperature readings.

Searing:

  1. Once the internal temperature reaches 145°F, you can transfer the chicken to the direct heat side of the grill for 5-7 minutes per side or until the skin is crispy and browned. Be careful not to overcook the chicken.

Resting:

  1. Remove the chicken from the grill and tent it with foil. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat for a more flavorful bird.

Tips:

  • Chicken Size: This recipe works best for 3-5 lbs chickens. More giant chickens will take longer to cook.
  • Marinating: For extra flavor, marinate the chicken in your marinade for 30 minutes to an hour before grilling.
  • Indirect Heat: Using indirect heat helps prevent the chicken from drying out while allowing it to cook through.
  • Temperature: Always check the internal temperature of the chicken with a thermometer to ensure it’s cooked safely.
  • Crispy Skin: To ensure crispy skin, pat the chicken dry thoroughly before seasoning. Please don’t move the chicken around too much while grilling, and let it cook undisturbed for the most part.
  • Leftovers: Leftover spatchcocked chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can use it for salads, sandwiches, and wraps or dice it up for chicken pot pie.

What To Serve With

  • Roasted Vegetables: Roasting vegetables alongside spatchcocked grilled chicken is a simple and delicious way to add color and nutrients to your meal. Good options include chopped potatoes, carrots, onions, peppers, Brussels sprouts, or broccoli. Toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs before roasting them on a separate pan in the oven or the grill next to the chicken.
  • Grilled Vegetables: For a smoky flavor, grill vegetables like asparagus, zucchini, corn on the cob, or portobello mushrooms alongside the chicken. Brush them with olive oil or a simple marinade before grilling.
  • Salads: A light and refreshing salad is a perfect complement to the richness of the chicken. Consider a classic Caesar salad, a Greek salad with feta cheese and olives, a chopped salad with various vegetables and herbs, or a watermelon and feta salad for a summery twist.
  • Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes are a classic comfort food that pairs well with the savory flavors of the chicken.
  • Rice: Plain white rice, brown rice, or even flavored rice like lemon rice or cilantro lime rice can be a good base for the meal.
  • Pasta Salad: A light and flavorful pasta salad with a vinaigrette dressing is a refreshing option for a warm summer day.
  • Couscous: Couscous is a fluffy grain that can be seasoned with herbs and spices to complement the chicken.
  • Grilled Fruit: Grilled peaches, pineapple, or watermelon add a touch of sweetness and a delightful smoky flavor to the meal.
  • Bread: Crusty bread or rolls are perfect for soaking up the delicious juices from the spatchcocked grilled chicken.
  • Sauces: For those who like a bit more sauce, you can offer a variety of options like chimichurri sauce, pesto, barbecue sauce, or a simple lemon garlic sauce.
  • Consider the Season: Lighter and fresher sides are ideal for summer grilling, while heartier options like mashed potatoes or roasted vegetables work well in cooler months.
  • Balance the Flavors: If your marinade for the chicken is very flavorful, choose more straightforward side dishes to avoid overwhelming the palate.
  • Dietary Needs: Consider your guests’ dietary restrictions when choosing side dishes. For example, offer gluten-free bread or pasta options if needed.
  • Keep it Colorful: Use a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits to create a visually appealing and healthy meal.

Health Benefits

Here’s a breakdown of the nutrients typically found in a serving of chicken

  • Calories: 590
  • Protein: 59g
  • Carbs: 5g
  • Total Fat: 36g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 234mg
  • Sodium: 1338mg
  • Sugars: 2g

Final Thoughts

Spatchcocked grilled chicken is a culinary technique that shouldn’t be intimidating. It’s a surprisingly simple way to achieve juicy, flavorful chicken with crispy skin, all in a shorter cooking time than traditional methods. This method is perfect for busy weeknights or casual weekend gatherings.

More On Chicken Recipes:

Spatchcocked Grilled Chicken

Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )
Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time: Nutrition facts: 590 calories 36 grams fat

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (3-5 lbs)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Optional Seasonings:

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (for a kick)
  • Fresh herbs (optional): thyme, rosemary, parsley

Instructions

Prep The Chicken:

  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
  • I am using kitchen shears, which are cut along both sides of the backbone. Remove the backbone and discard (or save for making stock).
  • Flip the chicken breast-side up and firmly press the breastbone to flatten it.

Seasoning:

  • Drizzle the chicken with olive oil on both sides.
  • Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Rub your chosen spice blend all over the chicken, getting under the skin as well (if using).
  • If using fresh herbs, place them under the skin of the breast and on top of the chicken.

Grilling:

  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat (around 350°F) with a two-zone heating setup (one side direct heat, one side indirect heat).
  • Oil the grill grates to prevent sticking.
  • Place the chicken on the indirect heat side of the grill, skin-side up.
  • Grill for 30-40 minutes or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh reaches 145°F.

Tip:

Use a digital instant-read thermometer for accurate temperature readings.

Searing:

Once the internal temperature reaches 145°F, you can transfer the chicken to the direct heat side of the grill for 5-7 minutes per side or until the skin is crispy and browned. Be careful not to overcook the chicken.

Resting:

Remove the chicken from the grill and tent it with foil. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat for a more flavorful bird.

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