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How to Spatchcock a Chicken

  • Author: Erin Jensen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 spatchcocked chicken 1x
  • Category: How To
  • Method: Counter Top
  • Cuisine: American


How to Spatchcock a Chicken – an easy step-by-step tutorial!


  • 1 whole chicken, fresh (or thawed)


  1. Prep the chicken by removing any gizzards that are stuffed inside the cavity. 
  2. Flip chicken over so that it is breast side down.
  3. The backbone will now be running right down the middle of the chicken. Take a pair of sharp kitchen shears and cut along one side of the backbone.
  4. Then cut along the other side of the backbone.
  5. Remove the backbone (feel free to freeze it and use it the next time you make homemade chicken broth).
  6. Next, cut into the cartilage at the top of the breastbone so that when you flip the chicken over it will lay flat. Alternatively, you can press down on each of the wings at the same time and the breastbone will simply crack, allowing you flip it over and lay the chicken flat.
  7. Now you are ready to cook your spatchcock chicken however you want!


  • Good Cooking Shears: Sharp cooking shears are a great tool to have in your kitchen.  Here is a link to a high quality option
  • What if I don’t have shears: I have actually used a solid pair of scissors successfully! Although I wouldn’t recommend it and if your scissors aren’t strong enough they may break (so do so at your own risk).  I have never tried using a knife, but I am sure you could also use that (carefully). 
  • Video: Here is a great video tutorial if that is helpful!

Keywords: how to spatchcock a chicken