How to Butterfly a Chicken

My favorite way to grill chicken is to butterfly (a.k.a. spatchcock) a whole bird, flatten it, and place it directly on the grill with a large brick on top to weigh it down.  Pollo al Mattone, or Chicken Under a Brick is a Tuscan style of grilling chicken and the results are fantastic!  The chicken cooks quickly since it is flattened under the weight of the brick and you end up with skin so crispy and delicious, a fight might break out before it hits the table.

I have a butterflied chicken marinating in the fridge right now that I plan on grilling later this afternoon.  I’m documenting all the steps with my camera, and I’ll show you the results tomorrow.  But in the meantime, I want you to watch this great video on how to butterfly a chicken, courtesy of the folks over at The Virtual Weber Bullet.  Since this is a skill I’ve only picked up recently, I figure there are a few others out there who might benefit from the lesson as well!

  1. leah

    wow- this is so crazy, i was just thinking about how I had to cook chicken tomorrow, and I had to learn how to butterfly it when I noticed that you updated your blog! Brilliant!
    Thanks for posting the instructional video, will def put this to good use!


    2:28 pm  Jul 16th, 2009
  2. Jen Schall @ My Kitchen Addiction

    I can’t believe I have never done this before… the video is great and maeks it seem easy. I will have to give this a try.

    3:37 pm  Jul 16th, 2009
  3. Hilda

    Too easy, that was great. Thanks for sharing this.

    8:00 pm  Jul 16th, 2009
  4. B

    Hmmm. I’ve butterflied for years but I’ve always just cut the little piece in front of the keel allowing it to flatten. I’ve never removed the keel. I think I’ll try it next time. Seems like quartering the chicken after I’m done cooking would be a smidge easier.

    8:59 pm  Jul 16th, 2009
  5. ThisPrimalLife

    Looks like fun! It probably tastes a lot better than dried out breasts on the grill. Can’t wait to try this.

    11:21 am  Jul 17th, 2009
  6. Görel

    That’s a great idea! You use more of the chicken this way and it probably tastes better too. Thanks for the tip and the video!

    2:34 pm  Jul 17th, 2009
  7. pam

    I just did this last weekend and it was the best grilled chicken that I’ve ever done!

    7:18 pm  Jul 17th, 2009
  8. Grilled Chicken Under a Brick — Pinch My Salt

    […] I told you I had butterflied a chicken and was planning on grilling it under a brick?  Well now I’ll show […]

    4:28 pm  Jul 18th, 2009
  9. Sophia from Kitchen Caravan

    This sounds like a great way to cook chicken! Thanks for the advice.

    8:45 am  Jul 20th, 2009
  10. Michelle

    Nicole… what a great idea for cooking chicken. I can’t wait to try this. I’m so happy that I stumbled upon your website… very impressive 🙂

    1:56 pm  Jul 22nd, 2009
  11. Bill Medifast

    This is something I love doing with smaller sided chickens. Really helps get much more out of the little guys and the recipe options are amazing.Thanks for your video, now my wife can learn how to do this too! She has wanted to learn, but I always seem to forget.

    9:44 am  Jul 28th, 2009
  12. Christine

    Amazing idea. I usually just do a roasted chicken but I think this would be an even better idea. Thanks for sharing this and the video! Quite helpful.

    10:18 am  Aug 3rd, 2009
  13. Grilled Chicken Under a Brick « Food-Rave

    […] I told you I had butterflied a chicken and was planning on grilling it under a brick?  Well now I’ll show you […]

    1:19 pm  Sep 21st, 2009
  14. Martha. « park slope pig

    […] dude from Marlow and Sons/Diner makes brick chicken and I instantly want to make it. It requires deboning a chicken breast and thigh. That seems challenging. But watching the piece, I can feel the crunch of […]

    4:27 pm  Nov 13th, 2009
  15. donna

    I am looking for instruction on how to debone a turkey. I want to roll it in the skin, light and dark meat along with stuffing and roast. It should look kind of like a football when done…can anyone help me out

    10:17 am  Dec 2nd, 2009
  16. Issac Maez

    Great blog and post, keep it up i will be subscribing to your feed!

    2:31 pm  Jan 17th, 2010
  17. Cat

    This is a great video, thanks so much for posting it. My husband is the chef in the house, but he had to have major spinal surgery earlier this year. He can’t use his right hand anymore (temporarily, thank goodness!) but he has had a hankering for chicken under bricks. Thanks to your video, I’ll be able to prepare it for him tonight for a Valentine’s Day surprise! 🙂

    2:18 pm  Feb 14th, 2011
  18. Erin

    Very nicely done!

    4:34 pm  Jun 23rd, 2011
  19. Grilled Brick Chicken with Red-Wine Vinegar Marinade | The Pit Boss BBQ Tool BeltThe Pit Boss BBQ Tool Belt

    […] We recommend you butterfly the chicken.  Don’t know how to do it?  Check out this video. […]

    6:56 pm  Mar 22nd, 2014
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