Spatchcocked BBQ Glazed Chicken

So, yeah, I’ll admit it: I developed this recipe purely for the opportunity to say spatchcock a bunch of times.

Spatchcock!  Spatchcock.  Spatchcock.

…Alright, I think it’s out of my system now.  (But how fun is that to say?)

Have you ever done this to a whole chicken?  Have you spatchcocked?  (Sorry.)  Have you butterflied a bird?  Consider this post Part 2 of my “Fear Not Whole Bird Cooking” series!  (Part 1 is here.)

It’s a fancy-looking affair, but I promise, you’re just one sturdy pair of kitchen shears (and a small mental pep talk, maybe) away from your own gorgeously-glazed, juicy butterflied chicken.

Aside from looking cool, spatchcocking a chicken flattens out a whole bird so that it cooks more quickly and evenly, whether in a pan or on the grill.  I actually had summer grilling in mind when I set out to cook this dish, but I found that an oven proof skillet (such as cast iron), used either in the oven or on the grill, helps to catch all of the lovely cooking juices, saving our bird from drying out and creating a nice little pan sauce, to boot.

A tender, juicy bird with a sort of sweet, kind of tangy, definitely sticky glaze.  How’s that for SUMMER?  Add a quick corn salad on the side!  Or a few slices of watermelon?  Either way, let’s just get to spatchcocking, shall we?

In partnership with Draper Valley Farms.  All opinions are my own.  Thanks for supporting the brands that support Dunk & Crumble!

Spatchcocked BBQ Glazed Chicken

This homemade bbq(ish) sauce comes together in minutes, but if you don’t feel like whisking together your own, grab a bottle of your favorite store-bought variety.

Draper Valley Farms raise chickens in Washington and Oregon, and I love that their RANGER® free-range chickens are GMO- and antibiotic-free.

You can butterfly a chicken.  CONFIDENCE!


  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 1 RANGER® whole chicken (about 3-4 lbs)
  • a few large pinches of kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix together the ketchup, Dijon, honey, apple cider vinegar, and cayenne pepper until smooth.  Taste and adjust the spice and seasoning to your liking.

To spatchcock (or butterfly) the chicken: place the chicken on a clean work surface, breast-side down, with the legs towards you.  Use a pair of sharp kitchen shears to cut up along each side of the backbone to remove it, cutting through the rib bones as you go.  (Either discard the backbone or save it to make stock!)  Open the bird up and turn it over on your work surface (breast-and-skin-side up).  Press hard on the breast until you hear a small pop – the bird should easily lie flat.  You’re done spatchcocking!  Season the bird all over (both sides) with kosher salt and ground black pepper.

Place a large, oven-proof skillet (such as cast iron) over medium-high heat.  Drizzle in the canola oil.  Once hot, carefully place the chicken, skin-side down, in the pan, and sear for 5 minutes, until the skin is nicely brown.  Flip the chicken (I find two pairs of tongs handy with this move), turn off the burner, and brush a generous amount of sauce over the whole bird.

Transfer the chicken to the oven and cook, basting it with sauce a few times, until the juices run clear and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the the thigh (without touching bone) registers 165 degrees, about 40 minutes.

Allow the chicken to cool for 10 minutes before slicing it up and serving.


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5 Responses to Spatchcocked BBQ Glazed Chicken

  1. Betsy says:

    Oh that looks good. Might inspire me to cook a whole chicken. Question for you — do you put the glaze (have to try that regardless, maybe on a cut up chicken….) on before cooking? From one of the pics it looks like you are basting it before cooking, but the directions say to brown the chicken first…..

    Wanted to mention, your little boy is adorable. The pics on your instagram. Oh my!


    • molly gilbert says:

      Ooh, good catch! The truth is you can do it either way — I like to brown the chicken first, then glaze it before going in the oven, but you could very easily skip the browning and just glaze and roast the bird. Let me know how it goes for you! And thanks for your sweet comments!

  2. Maggie says:

    This look SO good! Making tonight!!!

  3. Paul Pluth says:

    I’ve been spatchcocking and cooking BBQ Glazed Ranger Chickens for a while (they are the only chickens I can find that are 4 lbs or under, besides being great) – but I want to try your recipe because it looks a lot easier than mine!

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