Have you heard of spatchcocking before? It is essentially a method of cooking a large bird by removing the backbone or breastbone so that it will lay flat while cooking. This allows the bird to cook more quickly and evenly and make some super crispy, crackly skin on top!
We have spatchcoked small game hens in the past and cooked them on the stove in a saute pan which is quick and easy but we decided to try a slightly larger bird, a chicken, and toss it on the grill along with the potatoes with we made a warm potato salad with and we went ahead and roasted some zucchini as well, since that is easily one of my favorite grilled veggies!
The crispy skin is one my favorite parts of a roasted chicken and I have learned over time that the more lemony, the better for me, so this is a very simple grilled chicken with only three seasonings. Feel free to add some garlic slices or fresh rosemary or whatever other spices you would like to make it all your own!
- a stick of butter, salted or unsalted – its up to you!
- juice of one lemon
- kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1-2 TBS olive oil
Heat the grill to high heat.
Prepare your chicken by using a chef’s knife or kitchen shears to cut down along both sides of the backbone to remove it. Discard the bone and turn the bird breast side up on the cuttin board. Now, putting your weight into it, press the heel of your hand against the middle of the breastbone, crack the bone, and flatten the bird.
Cut a little slit towards the base of the neck of the bird, just under the skin then use your fingers to gently separate the skin from the meat and create pockets to slide little pats of butter into, do this as much as you feel is necessary. I aim to make two big pockets on either side, rubbing the meat with the butters and smoothing it out as evenly as possible beneath the skin. Then pat dry the surface of the skin and give the chicken a little rub down with a little olive oil all over. Sprinkle the top generously with salt and pepper then drizzle a quarter of the lemon juice all over and let it sit while you prepare the veggies you would like to grill in accompaniment.
When the grill is pre-heated, gently place the bird in the center of the grill, close it and turn the heat down to medium. Cook until the skin is crispy and golden brown and the meat has cooked through, 20-30 minutes.
There is no need to flip the bird, and its ok if the underside burns a bit since that is protected by the ribcage and other bones that we didnt discard of that will protect the meat from becoming charred. Halfway through the cooktime, pour the rest of the lemon juice over the chicken, reserving a small amount (if you like) to pour over the finished chicken on the plate.
Enjoy hot with your fresh roasted veggies!