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How to Spatchcock and BBQ a Chicken

This is Wikipedia’s definition:

spatchcock, otherwise known as “spattlecock”, is poultry or game that is prepared for roasting or grilling by removing the backbone and sternum of the bird and flattening it out before cooking.

This is how it’s done:

I’m starting here with a 7-1/2 pound roaster.

The first thing I do is brine the bird.  This time, my brine consisted of:

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 TBS Simply Marvelous Season All (you can substitute you favorite seasoning)
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 6 garlic cloves

Ice cubes are added to cool the brine down.

Then the chicken goes in breast side down.  The pot gets covered and goes into the refrigerator for a minimum of four hours, but up to overnight.

After the chicken comes out of the brine and is rinsed and patted dry, lay the chicken breast side down on a cutting board.  With poultry shears, cut on both sides of the backbone and remove it.

Turn it over and with a pairing knife cut out the breast bone.

Now season it well on the inside.  I’m using Simply Marvelous Sweet and Spicy rub.

For really moist and succulent chicken, I tuck some pads of butter under the skin of the breast and thighs.

Finally, season the skin side.  I cook on a rack inside a pan that’s been covered with foil to make cleanup easier.

Into the smoker running steady at 275 degrees.  I chose the Stumps Baby this time because it’s so easy to maintain accurate temperature especially when using the BBQ Guru.

2 hours and 20 minutes later, the temperature in the breast was 159 degrees.  Covered and resting on the cutting board, carry over cooking brought the temp up to 165.

Cooked to perfection!

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