Gourmet Butcher: What’s a Spatchcock?

spatchcock sydney butcher


If you’ve ever gone to a gourmet butcher shop, you’ve probably seen on of those ‘spatchcocks’ in the chicken section. At first glance, it would look like a normal dressed chicken—that is, until you take a closer look.


What’s a Spatchcock?

In general, a spatchcock is a young chicken (usually three weeks of age) that is prepared by means of spatchcocking. However, it should be noted that other types of poultry can be spatchcocked as well. A skilled gourmet butcher can spatchcock quails and other small birds and poultry whose bones aren’t difficult to cut through.


How Do You Spatchcock Poultry?

Spatchcocking refers to a specific way of preparing chicken, quail, and other small birds and poultry. In general, a gourmet butcher makes use of a strong pair of kitchen shears as their primary tool in spatchcocking. If you’re interested in spatchcocking your own chicken, you’re going to need a similar tool. Here’s how you go about in doing it.

First, place the chicken breast facing down on a chopping board. Using the shears, cut away the backbone of the chicken. The backbone is discarded—unless you can think of other uses for it. Lastly, flatten the chicken by pressing down on it. And that’s basically it.

Sure, you can spatchcock your own chicken at home. But why go through all that trouble when you can buy spatchcocks readily at the meat shop? If there aren’t any, try asking the gourmet butcher to spatchcock a chicken or poultry from one of their displays.


Why Buy Spatchcock?

There are many reasons why spatchcocks are one of the most favoured quality meats. For one, they provide for a quicker cooking time. This is true whether you grill, broil or roast them.

But perhaps the most important reason why spatchcocks are so popular is because of their taste profile. Because of the chicken’s young age, spatchcocks are more tender and succulent when they are cooked. Also, they have a more delicate texture and flavour compared to the regular dressed chicken. This taste profile is what puts them along the roster of other quality meats.

There are certain issues that you need to be aware of though when grilling or roasting spatchcocks. That is, they tend to dry out easily. To keep this from happening, be sure to marinate the spatchcocks first before putting them in the grill or in the oven.

If you’re looking for fresh and delicious spatchcocks or other quality meats, please feel free to get in touch with us at (02) 9826 6122 or visit our shop (shop hours are indicated in our contact page).

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