Home Page
Cooking Tips
Healthy Cooking
Menu Favorites
Thom's Chili Bowl
Contact Us
Photo Gallery
About Us

Message Box




A Cooking Adventure with Thom

Maroon Printer Friendly Copy      

Spatch-Cooked BBQ Chicken

Thom Hackett
Servings: 2





Spatch-cooking is a technique used with small birds like Cornish hens, quail, or even chickens.  You cut them down the center on one side and spread them open so that they are fairly flat.  Besides creating an intriguing presentation and making them simple to carve, a spatch-cooked bird requires less time cooking, so the breast meat is more likely to be moist and tender.




½ cup water

½ cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup peanut oil, plus more for the grate

2 tablespoons hot sauce  

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon coarse salt, plus more for seasoning the chicken

1 whole free range chicken (believe me, they do always taste better when they’re free range), spatch-cut

Freshly ground black pepper


BBQ Sauce:

1½ cup tomato puree
¾ cup cider vinegar
⅓ cup olive oil
⅓ cup Worcestershire sauce
½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ cup molasses
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
2 tablespoons minced garlic
Juice of 1 lemon


Items Needed:

2 Skewers

Peanut oil for grill

Cooking Method

Prepare Grill For Cooking:


Using Charcoal:  Prepare a charcoal fire using about 6 pounds of charcoal and burn until the coals are completely covered with a thin coating of light gray ash, 20 to 30 minutes.  Spread the coals evenly over the grill bottom, position the grill rack above the coals, and heat until medium-hot (when you can hold your hand 5 inches above the grill surface for no longer than 3 or 4 seconds). Using Gas: For a gas grill, turn on all burners to High, close the lid, and heat until very hot, 10 to 15 minutes.

Prepare Chicken:  Remove any giblets/string etc that may have been packaged with it. Take a large sharp knife and very carefully, cut through the top, middle of the bird – basically follow the middle bone between the two breasts.  You will have to break through some bones so be sure to apply some pressure.  (Be careful though not to cut all the way through to the bottom half of the bird!) Once you’ve made your cut, flatten out the bird so that the wings are resting on-top of the breasts and the legs are splayed out on each side. Proceed with the recipe.

Spatch-Cooking Sauce:  Combine the water, vinegar, oil, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and salt in a squirt bottle.  Set aside.



BBQ Sauce:  Combine tomato puree, vinegar, oil, Worcestershire, sugar, molasses, mustard, garlic and lemon juice in a large non-reactive saucepan. 

  1. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often. 

  2. Set aside for 1 hour to permit flavors to meld. 

  3. Pat chicken dry.

Chicken:  Rub the marinade all over the chicken.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

  • Using skewers, pierce through the leg and the breast of each side so that the skewers go into a crisscross through the bird.  This will make handling the chicken much easier when turning it and taking it off the grill, as well as conducting heat from the skewers through to the centre of the bird. 

  • Marinate for about 30 min.

Apply some peanut oil to the grill grate.

Place the chicken on the grill, skin side down.   Once it's golden and begins to crisp, about 4 minutes, turn the chicken over and cook for about 45-55 min.

·         Check chicken for doneness, and then take the chicken off the grill, and let it rest for 5 min.

819 Mountshire Terrace, Chester, Virginia 23836 Phone: (804) 530-1183