A spatchcock is a kind of poultry that has been dressed and butchered in a particular way that allows for even cooking throughout the bird. It is common for cooks to spatchcock a chicken, but the same may be done to game birds. A spatchcocked bird is much like a butterflied bird, meaning that the backbone and breastbone have been removed so that the bird can be open in a symmetrical manner. As such, when the bird is roasted or grilled, it will cook in a more even manner and will also cook faster than a stuffed bird.
The spatchcock method requires skill, but is certainly not impossible for those who have some butchering experience. Generally, instructions are be given for spatchcocking a chicken, but the same technique can be followed for other birds such as quail. The first step is to place the chicken with the breast facing down on an even surface that can easily be disinfected. Very sturdy kitchen shears are required for this step. Next, cut along the backbone on both sides with shears and remove it from the carcass.
Once this is done, open the chicken and remove the breast bone from the cavity using a paring knife. The shears may be required again to help remove the breastbone from the meat. Once this has been done, the chicken is ready to be cooked. In addition to roasting or grilling the chicken, it may also be cooked on a spit. For smaller birds, such as Cornish game hens, the bird can even be grilled on a panini press.
The spatchcock process is not especially popular. This is probably because of the level of difficulty that comes with the butchering process. Also, while the cooking process does not take as long as roasting the the bird whole, it does take much longer than simply cooking fillets of the meat. Still, some people love the spatchcock method and think that it is a great way to prepare birds that are going to be grilled.
Some people like to spatchcock their poultry because they find that this process leads to a more flavorful, more moist result. The spatchcock method is not connected with any particular kinds of seasoning. In fact, a bird that has been dressed in the spatchcock method can be seasoned any number of ways as per the desire of the cook.