Sunday, January 16, 2011

Spatchcock Tuscan Chicken

Spatchcock, you say?  
In my case, it was say "spatchcock" over and over again.... Just count how many times I can use spatchcock in this post!

To spatchcock your chicken, cut down the back and remove the backbone.  Lay your split chicken open (bone side down) and press gently on the breast to flatten it out.  The purpose of spatchcocking is to promote even quicker cooking. Our 6 lb roaster cooked in 40 minutes.  The breast meat was perfectly juicy as were the legs and thighs.  One of the greatest advantages to spatchcocking is the perfect, all-over crispy skin!

Spatchcocked chicken is great for grilling.
However, tonight we roasted our spatchcocked chicken in the oven, bathed in the flavors of Tuscany.
Max brought his people (Garden Guru and Dee) for dinner.
Secretly, I was inspiring the building of the wood burning oven.  The Tuscan Spatchcocked Chicken was very tasty......but can you imagine if it would have been roasted in a wood-fired oven........

"Spatchcock, a culinary term, met in cookery books of the 18th and 19th centuries, and revived towards the end of the 20th century, which is said to be of Irish origin. The theory is that the word is an abbreviation of 'dispatch cock', a phrase used to indicate a summary way of gilling a bird after splitting it open down the back and spreading the two halves out flat. See also, however, spitchcock."

 SourceOxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, 1999 Oxford University Press

Tuscan Spatchcocked Chicken

5-6 lb Roasting Chicken, spatchcocked
10 oz. (about 1.5 cups) Cherry Tomatoes
10 cloves garlic, peeled left whole
1 tbsp olive oil
fresh thyme (dried is OK too)
coarse salt

Preheat oven 425 degrees.
Spatchcock the chicken and season generously with fresh thyme, salt and pepper.
In an oven proof dish toss together tomatoes, garlic cloves, thyme, salt/pepper and olive oil.  I pierced each tomato because I thought it was a good idea!
Place the seasoned chicken, skin side up, on top of the tomato mixture.
Bake for 40 minutes or until internal temp of thigh is 160 degrees.  If the skin is not crispy enough, turn on the broiler for a few minutes......but watch it carefully!

To serve, joint the chicken, separating the legs and thighs.  Take the breast meat off the bone and carve into slices.  Scoop up all the yummy tomatoes, garlic and pan juices and drizzle over the cut up chicken.  If it was Summer and the garden had a bounty of basil, I would have chopped up a handful and added to the top.
I served this with a fresh pasta (chili and olive oil, BR's favorite) and a simple tossed salad.


  1. Your spatchcock is Stickin' Out! (Irish slang)
    And my mouth is watering.

  2. Hey photo guy
    Thanks for stopping by!
    I'd be happy to spatchcock something for you in the near future.

    Our dear friend C, would be having a real good time with all this....... I sure hope she is reading along

  3. Try the spatchcocked chicken recipe. It was a big hit.


  4. Hi RW
    Glad the chicken was a hit! I hope you will stop by again.