Grilled Spatchcock Chicken with Dijon and Rosemary

grilled spatchcock chicken with dijon and rosemary
Photo: Linda Xiao
Prep Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
4 to 6 Serves

For succulent chicken in a snap, spread your wings. This method, known as spatchcocking, butterflies the bird by removing the backbone (an easy job for kitchen shears). Spatchcocking ensures the chicken will grill evenly, absorbs subtle smokiness, and achieves a crispy, golden-brown sear. Slather on our Dijon-rosemary marinade before it hits the flames, and let the flavors soar.


  • 1 whole chicken (3 ½- to-4 pounds)

  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • Salt and pepper


  1. Place chicken on a large cutting board, breast-side down. Using kitchen shears, cut along each side of backbone and remove (reserve for stock, see cook's note). Flip over; press firmly with your palm in center of breasts to flatten.

  2. Whisk together mustard, mayonnaise, rosemary, and lemon juice. Season chicken generously all over with salt and pepper; slather both sides with mustard mixture. Cover loosely and let stand while you prepare the grill, or refrigerate in a resealable bag up to 1 day (return to room temperature 1 hour before grilling).

  3. Heat grill to 350°F for direct and indirect cooking. Oil grates over indirect zone, then place chicken, skin-side up, on it, with legs facing direct zone (this helps keep the breast from overcooking before the legs are done).

  4. Cover and cook, maintaining a temperature of about 350°, until skin begins to brown and a thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast reads 150°, 45 to 50 minutes.

  5. Oil grates over direct-heat zone. Using tongs, carefully flip chicken skin-side down over direct heat. Cook, moving occasionally to avoid flare-ups, until skin is charred in places and chicken is cooked through (thermometer should read 160°), 5 to 10 minutes more. Transfer to a tray; tent with foil. Let stand at least 15 minutes before carving.

Cook's Notes

Save the bones after carving to parlay into a smoky, rich chicken stock. Place them, including the backbone, in a pot; cover with water. Add aromatics (try carrots, celery, and half an onion) and simmer 1 hour. Let cool, then strain and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.



Follow step 1, then place it on a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack. Cook in a preheated 425°F oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast reads 160°.

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