How to Spatchcock a Chicken

How to Spatchcock a Chicken

How to Spatchcock a chicken:


Cutting Board

Tupperware or Plastic Bag for storing bones, trim, innards

Kitchen Shears 


1 Whole Pastured Snowdance Farm Chicken


Spatchcocking is a much talked about method of poultry butchery.  You will hear the term thrown around like wildfire every Thanksgiving, because it is a simple way to ensure a faster cooking, more delicious roasted bird.  This is our go-to method of preparing chicken for roasting.  Simply put, when you spatchcock a chicken, you are removing the backbone and breaking the breast bone so that the chicken can lay flat.  This allows the light and dark meat to cook more evenly and results in a perfectly cooked bird every time! To make things as easy as possible we use kitchen shears. You can use a butcher knife as well, but the shears are just so quick. (If you don’t have kitchen shears, consider picking some up, they are cheap, last forever, and are a great time saving tool!)

Step 1.

Grab your bird from the fridge and place on a cutting board.  Remove any innards, then you are ready to go. (Pro-Tip - it’s easiest to butcher meat when it is cold, the muscles and skin are firmer and move around less.)

Step 2.  

With the breast side of the bird down on the cutting board, use your kitchen shears to cut a seam along the side of the back bone from the tail straight through to the neck. There is usually a small tab of skin at the tail, use this as a guide and start your incision right next to either side of this tab.  Stay close to the backbone, and cut straight up, you want to remove as little muscle as possible.  If using a knife, flip the bird so it is backbone side down, this way you won’t cut into the breasts. 

Step 3. 

Cut a second seam on the other side of the back bone. Save the backbone and innards for stock!

Step 4.

With the back bone removed and the carcass breast side down on the cutting board, you will see the breast bone in the center of the bird.  If you start from the top you can work the shears in between the breast muscles and this bone cutting straight down. If using a knife, gently cut a head to tail incision in the breast bone (not cutting all the way through), then flip the bird over and press down on the breasts with both hands to break the bone.  

Step 5. 

Pat both sides of the carcass dry and you are ready to season and cook!