• Gary Corcoran

How to flatten (spatchcock) a chicken

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

One of the recipes in my book calls for you to spatchcock a chicken. Yes, this is a real term that means “to flatten,” by removing the back bone and flattening the chicken out. Here, I'll show you how.


Start by laying the chicken, breast side down on your cutting board. The legs should be pointing away from you. The goal here is to remove the backbone.


Take a pair of poultry shears and cut straight down one side of the neck bone all the way to the tail. Now start on the other side of the neck bone and cut straight to the tail again. You will have removed a bone about 2 inches wide and about 6 - 8 inches long. Discard or save for stock later. Don’t forget to clean your shears when you’re done this part.


Now turn the chicken breast-side up and push the breast down with the heel of your hand. This will help release the breast bone and allow you to flatten out the chicken. Next, cut a shallow incision into each thigh and drumstick. Do the same in the thicker part of the breast.


Now you've got a flattened chicken, all ready to marinate.

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