Never spatchcocked a chicken before? Here’s what you’ve been missing

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Never spatchcocked a chicken before? Here’s what you’ve been missing

No more waiting over an hour for your roast dinner. No more overcooked-at-the-top, undercooked-at-the-bottom frustration. Just succulent, delicious success.


Why spatchcock?

Because it’s one of the easiest hacks to cut down the cooking time of a whole chicken. Removing the backbone and flattening out the whole bird also lends itself to cooking methods other than roasting, like braaiing and pan-frying.

First things first. How to spatchcock a chicken:

A good pair of kitchen scissors is your best friend. Place the chicken on a cutting board, breast side down, with the legs facing you. Cut through the rib bones on either side of the backbone, using the parson’s nose as your guide. This should be fairly easy to do and shouldn’t require too much pressure. Flip the chicken over onto the board, pull out either side to open it up and gently apply pressure onto the breast bone, until it’s flattened out completely.

And now, for the different flavour treatments:

Peri-peri spatchcock chicken


Preheat the oven to 200°C. Blend 1 x 240 g packet Woolies’ sundried tomato quarters, 2 T chilli flakes, 6 to 8 garlic cloves, ¼ cup olive oil, 3 T red wine vinegar, the juice of ½ lemon and 3 red bird’s-eye chillies until smooth.Carefully lift the skin of your spatchcocked chicken and spread a couple of tablespoons of the sauce underneath. Spread the remaining sauce on top of the the skin, dot with a few knobs of butter, season and roast on a tray with 700g parboiled baby tomatoes for 45 to 50 minutes.

Spatchcock chicken in a tomato vindaloo potjie


Heat 3 T ghee in a potjie or a medium-sized, flat-bottomed, cast-iron pot over low-heat coals. If cooking on the stove, cook over a low heat. Add 1 chopped onion and brown. Add the 3 finely chopped garlic cloves, a 4cm piece of ginger (finely chopped), 4 crushed cardamom pods, 1 t mustard seeds, 8 to 10 curry leaves, 1 t dried chilli flakes and 1 stick cinnamon, and mix to combine. Cook for 2 minutes, then add 2 T garam masala and 1 ½ t turmeric. Allow the spices to toast for 2 minutes, then add 1 x 400 g can of tomatoes, 120 ml white wine vinegar and 240 ml water, and bring to a simmer. Add your spatchcock chicken to the potjie, cover and cook, undisturbed, for 1 ½ hours. Season to taste and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Orange-juice roast spatchcock chicken with sweet potatoes


Preheat the oven to 220°C. Pat dry and season your spatchcock chicken. Line a roasting pan with baking paper. Add 500g sliced yellow and orange sweet potatoes, spreading them to cover the pan, season and place the spatchcocked chicken on top. Roast for 45 minutes, then pour over the juice of 3 oranges. Roast for another 10 minutes or until nicely browned.Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before carving.

Spatchcock chicken for the win, right? Woolies are fans too. In fact, their Moroccan butterflied chickens are currently on promotion as part of their Eat in For Four for under R200 deal.

Learn more about Today With Woolies here.

Today With Woolies Article by: Today With Woolies

Discover more about Today With Woolies here.

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