Learn this simple technique to jazz up your chicken repertoire

Learning how to spatchcock a chicken will mean you always have options when it comes to cooking.

Spatchcock chicken with Za’atar

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Serves: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Ideal for: midweek meal, weekend meal

How to spatchcock a chicken

Spatchcock or butterfly chicken

It’s pretty simple really.

It’s removing the backbone so your chicken can lie completely flat.

This means the cooking time reduces significantly and can be cooked under a grill or pan frying as well.


Before you begin prep the chicken.

Remove any neck parts and gizzards and keep to freeze for homemade stock.

Place the chicken, breast-side down, on a cutting board.

Remove the neck & gizzards out. Place the chicken breast side down and wings away from you.

Step 1: Cutting along the backbone

Cut along the right of the backbone from the tail to the neck.

Using a knife or kitchen scissors, cut up the side of the backbone.

Step 2: Cut the other side

Remove the backbone and freeze this future chicken stock (or discard).

Remove the backbone and use it for stock.

Step 3: Breaking the breastbone

Flatten the bird by pressing down on each of the wings, at the same time until the bone cracks.

Press down on the chicken.

Step 4 (optional): Removing the wing tips

Snip the tips of the wings off and add to your stock bones for the freezer.

The only reason to snip the ends off is that they often burn.

Step 5: Et voila, spatchcock chicken!

Now season and cook – check out my Peri Peri chicken recipe this Thursday.

Ready for the oven!

This is a super simple skill and a great way to mix up some chicken recipes to keep the family happy.

Now, check out some great recipes for spatchcock chicken!

Spatchcock chicken with Za’atar

Course Main Course
Keyword chicken, spatchcock chicken
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Cost ££


  • 1.5 kg free-range chicken
  • 2 sea salt
  • 2 whole garlic heads cut in half horizontally
  • 2 onions cut in half (or shallots)
  • 1 ltr chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup Processco or white wine
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 2 tsp za'atar
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sumac or grated zest of lemon
  • 1 ground pepper for seasoning
  • 300 g orzo


  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 C
  • In a bowl and add cumin, za'atar, sumac (or grated lemon zest), black pepper and salt. Add the melted butter or oil and mix.
    Gently rub this onto the spatchcock chicken.
  • In a large roasting dish, place the garlic and onions on the bottom, season and place the spatchcock chicken on top.
  • Pour the stock and wine into the roasting tray and transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 45 minutes or until done and golden brown.
    Approx. 10 mins before the chicken is done, add the orzo. You may to add some more water if there isn't enough liquid.