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How to Butterfly a Chicken for the Barbecue

How to Butterfly a Chicken for the Barbecue

By Abby Allen
07, June 2020

To spatchcock a chicken, or butterfly it, is to remove the backbone, thus allowing it to be completely opened out and flattened. Doing this reduces the cooking time significantly and allows the whole bird to be cooked in different, speedier ways, like barbecuing.

You will need

A whole Properly Free Range Chicken

A sturdy chopping board

A very sharp knife, or a pair of scissors

How to Butterfly a Chicken

Take the whole bird and place it on your chopping board. Put the giblets to one side, you can use them later to make a stock

Turn the chicken over and place breast side down.

To remove the spine, run your finger down the back of the chicken to identify the bone and the soft outer side of the ribcage.

Place the tip of a large sharp knife vertically to one side of the spine. Press the blade of the knife down firmly, then in one movement, run the knife all the way down the side of the spine cutting through the soft rib tissue with your blade next to the bone, applying a good amount of pressure. You need to be firm and committed to your cut in order to neatly break apart the ribcage. 

Turn the bird around and repeat so you have cut all the way down one side of each spine and it is now free.

Pull out the spine (this can go into the stockpot along with the giblets).

You can also do this with scissors, simply follow the instructions above but use scissors instead of a knife and simply cut through the ribcage. 

You can now flip your bird over and flatten it out by pressing down on the breast.

Try one of our delicious recipes for Butterflied Chicken:

Butterflied Chicken with Wild Garlic Pesto & Homemade Focaccia

Rose Harissa Butterflied Chicken with Hummus & Flatbreads

You can buy a Butterflied Chicken here


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