Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tuscan Spatchcock Chicken on the Big Green Egg

I love butterflied or "spatchcock" chicken and decided to try butterflying the chicken at home. It was amazingly easy!! I just cut out the backbone with cooking shears, opened the bird up like a book, removed the sternum and voila!

I made a marinade of the zest of 2 lemons, 1/2 cup grape seed oil (olive oil can burn at a high temp), then finely chopped 2 cloves of garlic, 3 sprigs rosemary, several sprigs of Italian parsley, 1 tbs red chili flakes and about 2 tsp of yummy Cyprus salt. Rubbed the chicken really well, then marinated 5 hours. Overnight would be even better!

We fired up the Big Green Egg and brought it to about 450 degrees, added a cup of soaked pecan chips and threw the bird on for about 40 minutes to an hour until the thigh read 165 degrees. Just plan your time for an hour to play it safe. Finish with a squeeze of lemon.

 As you can see here, we are cooking this indirectly with the grill plate inverted. This prevents the bird from burning. Next time I'm going to put some large chunks of veggies in a cast iron skillet with some beer or wine and let the yummy chicken juices dribble over them.

 After 20 minutes...

 40 minutes later and the bird is done! Let it rest covered in foil for about 10 minutes before carving and serving on warmed plates.

We devoured the chook with a side of rosemary and garlic roasted potatoes & Brussels sprouts with pancetta and grape tomatoes. Sprinkled a little more coarse salt on it too.

To make the sprouts, simply toss with diced pancetta, 1 clove chopped garlic, several grape tomatoes cut in half lengthwise and 1 tbs olive oil. Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Cook in a 450 degree oven for about 35 minutes. I put the potatoes in about 25 minutes before the sprouts. 


  1. I'm firin' up the Big Green Egg! Got my inspiration for tonight! THanks Tracy!

  2. I do something similar with chicken, but I grill it at a lower temp and with direct heat. Grilling direct helps crisp up the skin. I also put some herb mixture under the skin. Everyone seems to like it.

  3. I use to live in San Gimignano Tuscany and earned my keep working at a family owned restaurant. One of my jobs was to make the well known Tuscan dish Pollo al Mattone" or chicken cooked under a brick. First let me correct you about olive oil. EVO is excellent for frying food and cooking. We fried artichokes, potatoes, calamari, chicken, fish etc.. in Tuscany all in EVOO. We often used the same oil day after day since olive oil is more stable and has a higher smoke point than other oils. We also grilled massive Bistecca Fiorentina with olive oil as well as lamb chops and other meats. 2ND. We also used EVOO in marinades. We always marinated our chicken in lemon, rosemary sage, EVOO and very little garlic and NEVER marinated it longer than 2 hours (marinating chicken with citrus overnight will "cook" the chicken and turn it to mush) plus you want to taste the chicken, the herbs should enhance the flavor, not mask it. Since I also traveled around Italy quit a bit I know every family has it's own recipes but, the one thing they all had in common was they all cooked with EVOO.


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