How to Flatten or Spatchcock a Whole Chicken

Spatchcocking, flattening, butterflying a chicken…. many ways to say the same thing which is basically removing the backbone of the chicken so you can spread it out flat. We are total fans of prepping our poultry this way as we find it the best way to get an evenly perfectly cooked bird. Dark meat cooks right through while the white meat stays tender and moist. Spatched chickens are great roasted in the oven and BBQed – no need for a rotisserie!

So how to do it? Honestly it is really simple. I am going to jot down some instructions below with a few amateur pictures to help you along. For our demo purposes we are using a Meat Me in the Junction Chicken Fryer. This is a smaller bird (so good for demo). We often spatch the larger Omega3 Roasters and are even considering spatching our Christmas turkey this year!


1. Get your tools ready. For our demo we are using both poultry shears (on the left) and regular sturdy serrated kitchen scissors just to show that either should be good.

2. Remove the backbone. Flip the bird upside-down so it is backbone up. Starting at the ‘popes nose’ cut along the backbone all the way through. Then cut along the other side of the backbone all the way through so it is fully detached from the bird. Discard or save the backbone to cook or for soup, or in our case, give it raw to your dog as a much appreciated treat!

3. From the ‘wing end’ of the bird cut into the breast bone (wish bone) approximately 1 to 1.5 inches. This will allow you to then spread the bird flat.

4. Flip the bird in the roasting pan and add your favourite seasoning and you’re ready to roll! Of course we like to use Meat Me in the Junction Garlic infused Olive Oil along with MMitJ Chicken Spice Rub.

5. Cook the bird using your preferred method and Voila! Beautiful flavourful moist delicious chicken. Easy Peasy!!