· Recipes
Spatchcocked Chicken with Basil Marinade Recipe

This Spatchcocked Chicken recipe is based on one from www.barbecuebible.com.
For the marinade:
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup boiling water
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large bunch fresh basil, stemmed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 chicken
 Mix all your ingredients (well, ok, not the chicken - everything else though) in a food processor.   
Mix all your ingredients (well, ok, not the chicken - everything else though) in a food processor. Set aside.

Now, onto the spatchcocked chicken: flip the chicken onto its back and slide your sharp knife along one side of the chicken's backbone.
Now, onto the spatchcocked chicken: flip the chicken onto its back and slide your sharp knife along one side of the chicken's backbone.

Push down cutting through the ribs, severing one side of the chicken from it's spine.
Push down cutting through the ribs, severing one side of the chicken from it's spine.

Flip the bird over, place your knife on the other (still connected) side of the backbone and remove the spine from the bird.
Flip the bird over, place your knife on the other (still connected) side of the backbone and remove the spine from the bird.

Now you've got a chicken without a backbone
Now you've got a chicken without a backbone (I guess that's a 'chicken' chicken). Flip it over so that it's chest is facing upwards.

Grit your teeth and break the breastbone of the bird
Grit your teeth and break the breastbone of the bird (for you sensitive grillers out there I should warn you that there are some unpleasant breaking noises that occur at this point in the recipe).

Cut small holes in the skin at both sides of the tail of the bird.

Cut small holes in the skin at both sides of the tail of the bird. Wiggle the ankle bones of the bird through these holes. This will keep the legs more connected to the body of the bird while you're grilling it and flipping it over on the barbecue.

Gently separate some of the breast skin from the meat of the bird.
Gently separate some of the breast skin from the meat of the bird.

Put some lemons into the chest cavity of the bird.
Put some lemons into the chest cavity of the bird. Because the breast meat is drier than the thigh meat, these lemons will help keep the breast meat moist while the thigh meat is cooking a bit longer on the grill.

Place the whole chicken into a freezer bag and fill with the marinade.
Place the whole chicken into a freezer bag and fill with the marinade. Massage it a bit so that teh marinade is spread evenly over the bird. Let sit for a few hours in the fridge.

Place the chickens flat on the barbecue and grill using a combination of direct and indirect heat.
Place the chickens flat on the barbecue and grill using a combination of direct and indirect heat. Our birds took about an hour to finish. We probably flipped them three or four times during the cooking process.

Remove from the grill and inspect the chicken.
Remove from the grill and inspect the chicken.


Because there is no backbone in the bird, this is very easy to carve up. Squeeze some more lemon on the meat before serving with some roasted vegetables, some of those green, leafy things and some wine (antioxidants unite!).