Sounds a lot fancier and tougher than it looks – Spatchcock chicken is an easy and delicious way to prepare a full bird with a lot less hassle and fuss. Here’s the definition according to the Boston Globe:‘Think of it as butterflying the chicken. The real term is to “spatchcock.” Alan Davidson explains in The Oxford Companion to Food: “The theory is that the word is an abbreviation of ‘dispatch the cock,’ a phrase used to indicate a summary way of grilling a bird after splitting it open down the back and spreading the two halves out flat.” Davidson speculates that spatchcocked birds originated in Ireland. He has noticed them in Irish cookbooks that date to the 18th century.
Besides making an intriguing presentation and being simple to carve, a spatchcocked bird requires less time in the oven. That means that the breast meat won’t be dry. It’s also easy to make a pocket between the skin and breast meat to stuff the bird with a protective layer of vegetables and seasonings. In Simple French Food, the late Richard Olney wrote about stuffing a flattened chicken with grated zucchini mixed with ricotta and Parmesan cheeses. Olney prepared the recipe on his book-promotion tour in the early 1970s, and for a while it became popular among cooks.’
Prepping the bird, once the backbone’s been dispatched is easy as…Simply coat both sides of the bird with some olive oil and then add your favorite BBQ rub. Mine is the same one I use for the Fred Flintstone ribs. Yep, rib rub on chicken…brilliant.
We fired up the egg to about 400 degrees and added some baked potato as well as roasted garlic (as seen above) – the end result after an hour of roasting was nothing short of poultry genius! We used a bit of our homemade bbq sauce as well but use it sparingly on the side as opposed to drenching the chicken whilst on the grill.
If you’re pressed for time and don’t want to mess about, spatchcock chicken is definitely the way to go.