Every summer I say the same thing after a few grilling sessions, why don’t I grill all year long. There is truly something magical about how much better a meal over fire is. The flavors are more interesting and the clean-up is fantastic. If you follow my Instagram stories you have seen this recipe for grilled spatchcock chicken more often than not. I decided after a few questions on how to make it, that I should share my go-to grilled spatchcock chicken recipe along with a tasty little how-to video.
When I began grocery shopping during the height of the pandemic grocery store insanity I also decided it was time to practice my at-home butchering skills. I use to have the butcher spatchcock all my chickens for me, well, I use to have him do everything for me. Now I have nothing but time on my hands so I should hone my cooking skills even more. Guess what it is super easy, so easy that I cannot believe I use to have someone do it for me. What a lazy person I had become!
I love grilling spatchcock chickens and it has become my go-to cooking method lately. It works perfectly when feeding 4 or 6, not that that has happened around here lately and it looks so fancy. For two people it is great as well. We usually enjoy one half for a more fancy dinner and then save the leftovers for a couple of other meals over the next few days. If I am feeling completely motivated the chicken carcass becomes stock or soup.
Going to be completely honest with you and share my secret to cooking chicken as well as all meat. I do not go by times instead I use a thermometer and monitor the internal temperatures. Since I quit using time as a guideline when cooking meat, my meat-based recipes have come out so much better. It is true. I like the ChefAlarm by ThermoWorks as I have found it to be the most accurate; but, use whatever you prefer using. Just make sure it works as there is nothing worse than undercooked meat, especially chicken. The internal temperature for chicken should always be at least 165. It is okay to go a little over but do not go under 165. Herbs, I always sprinkle fresh herbs over my grilled chicken. It adds more flavor and it looks really pretty. I have a few favorite flavor profiles listed below. Again, this is a recipe you can be creative with. Have fun! Play with your food!
Herb Flavor Profiles:
- Traditional: marjoram, rosemary, and thyme.
- French: thyme, tarragon, and chervil.
- Italian: rosemary, Italian parsley, oregano
- Middle Eastern: mint, za’atar, and sumac (both of these herbs are dried)
- Latin: cilantro, minced chili (you pick the heat), and grilled limes instead of lemon
Lemons, I am not sure what it is about grilled lemons with grilled meat but it kind of goes together really well. I learned this trick from my brother-in-law and have never looked back. Warm, caramelized lemons on my jam! Bonus it looks super pretty! That is it my friends, my go-to summer about to become all year, grilled chicken. Serve the entire thing at once or half now and use the other half for other recipes or as a quick meal the next day. This recipe really gives me so much joy, and I am hoping it does the same for you.
Recipe: Grilled Spatchcock Chicken
- 1 whole chicken, I prefer 3 – 4 pounds
- herbs of choice
- 1 or 2 lemons, optional
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- Bring chicken to room temperature an hour before cooking – will cook more evenly.
- Preheat the grill to 425.
- Place the chicken breast down and using sharp scissors cut as close to the backbone as possible to remove. See video.
- Flip the chicken over and press down hard onto the breast bone until it pops; doesn’t take long. See video.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken skin side down onto a hot grill – at least 425 but can be a bit hotter too.
- Cook until the chicken easily lifts up – do not force it or the skin will rip.
- Continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165.
- Remove from the grill and cover with foil. Let sit for 5 – 10 minutes