Situation: It’s July and it is hot and humid. I’d rather grill outside, where it already feels like an oven, than turn on the oven in the kitchen! Chicken pieces might be an obvious choice for making Tuscan grilled chicken but whole chickens are more economical and readily available this time of year from local farmers who raise them on pasture. Cutting up a chicken into pieces yourself isn’t hard to do, but “spatchcocking” the bird is even easier… and makes for an impressive serving platter!
The “Tuscan” in this recipe title refers to the rosemary, lemon and garlic flavor that infuses the tender bird. I’m not sure who originally decided that those were the flavors which singularly designated the beautiful and diverse central region of Italy, but for the purposes of this blog post I’ll accept it. But stay tuned, because I’ve got something special in the works later this year that has to do with Italy and food and will have a new perspective on that to share with you then…
How to spatchcock
Spatchcocking is fun to say and easy to do! You need a sharp pair of kitchen sheers and just a little bit of chicken anatomy knowledge to pull it off. There are numerous tutorials and videos available with just a little bit of Googling, but this step-by-step tutorial from paleo foodie pioneer Michelle Tam (aka Nom Nom Paleo) was my guide when I was learning.
You’ll need some good kitchen shears for this task. You don’t need to spend much, but you do want them to be sharp. I recently bought these for myself and have been happy with them.
Michelle’s method also has you loosen the skin of the chicken and place aromatics underneath it, which I have also utilized in this recipe. I prefer this over marinating because it keeps the flavors right next to the meat even while it is cooking and results in meat that tender and more tasty.
Tip for grilling a spatchcocked grilled chicken… without burning down the neighborhood!
After you cut your chicken flat, be sure you remove any extra fat pads from the underside before you put it on the grill. If you leave them on, that fat will begin to render when you flip the bird over to that side and drip down on your grill’s heat source, which will likely result in a massive flare-up. Keeping the lid closed will minimize the likelihood of this occurrence but I have found that it still happens most of the time if I’m not really careful. Best to just remove the extra fat and save it to render and use for sautéing or roasting vegetables another day.
More recipes like this…
Tuscan Grilled Spatchcocked Chicken RecipePrint
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