It’s a well-known fact in the culinary world that things which are cut evenly cook evenly. A chicken in its natural form presents a problem; it’s shaped like a ball with pieces hanging off. Spatchcock refers to a method of fabricating a chicken so that it lies flat and cooks evenly.
The word “spatchcock,” by the way, is Irish for “splitting open a bird.” And it’s fun to say. Spatchcock! Spatchcock! Spatchc…!
While a spatchcock chicken is a fairly simple preparation, handling a chicken held at odd angles can be a little tricky, so above everything else, make sure you’re holding the chicken firmly when cutting.
Spatchcock chicken needs a low and slow method of cooking. Grilling and smoking are ideal. One of the most common methods is called “under brick”.
Chicken Under Brick
And, while the pictures show the method on my gas grill, this would work over coals. Don’t put the chicken directly over the coals though; bank them and use indirect heat to cook the spatchcock chicken. And if you’re using a gas grill, turn the heat down all the way.