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How to spatchcock a chicken

chicken, cut, carve, prepare, spatchcock, butterfly

A spatchcocked chicken, like a butterflied chicken, is a chicken that has had the back and breastbones removed so it can be opened up and flattened out like a book. This way, it cooks faster and more even all around. Here's how to do it:

First, turn the whole chicken breast side-down and cut along one side of the backbone with the sturdiest kitchen shears you can find.

Rotate the chicken around and cut alongside the other side of the bacbkone to remove it. (Refrigerate or freeze the backbone, then simmer it with aromatic vegetables for a quick chicken broth.)

Open the chicken up like a book and find the diamond-shaped breast bone. With a pairing knife, cut along both sides of the breast bone. Run your fingers along either side, then just pull it out. You might need the kitchen shears or pairing knife to carve it away from the breast meat beneath.

Trim away any excess fat from either side of the chicken, and it's ready to cook in the oven, on the spit or on the grill.

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