Spatchcock in the Beechwood

Spatchcock in the Beechwood
Wandering around the local market here in Tuscany we spied a Spatchcocked chicken…  and so our plans for today’s food was sorted!

The term spatchcock refers to poultry prepared for roasting or grilling by removing the backbone and sometimes the sternum and flattening it out ready for cooking – for obvious reasons it is sometimes also called butterflying.  It is said to have two real advantages: firstly it cooks quicker, and as more skin is exposed – you have more delicious crispy skin!

We packed a picnic, some water, and a little local wine and set off up to an open Beech Wood clearing on the side of Mount Amiata close to where we are staying. Transporting the Egg between our holiday baggage driving to Tuscany had proved to be very straightforward – but driving up a winding mountain road with a largely empty boot could have left the BGE a little vulnerable.  So we simply held it in place with a stretched cargo net normally used to stop small items running around the boot.

We found a wonderfully quiet spot in the high Beech woods on the mountain. There were a series of wooden picnic tables and even some communal stone built BBQs available. I could imagine that at weekends this could be a very popular space but today, in the middle of the week, just one other couple enjoying the quiet, the dappled sunlight and a glass of wine!

The BGE was set up at the base of a Beech tree and brought up to temperature.  Once it had reached around 170C we added some snapped Beech twigs from the forest floor, and added these to the charcoal to create some Beech smoke and placed the platesetter feet up with the cast-iron grill in place.

We found a little wild rosemary which was placed on the grill and the chicken was sat on top.  There was just enough room on the Mini for a couple of potatoes too. The chicken had previously been rubbed with a little olive oil all over and then seasoned with a mix of sea salt, pepper and some mixed dried herbs.


The Egg was closed and left to work it’s magic!

After around 15 mins the chicken was cooking well but probably a little quicker on the underside than the skin side – and that would never do!  So the chicken was flipped over and just to make sure we didn’t end up overcooking it we put the in-dwelling temperature probe from the iGrill mini into the thickest part of the chicken.

This is a very neat inexpensive little battery powered bluetooth temperature probe.  It is safe to use with the platesetter in place – running the heat resistant cable over one of the legs of the platesetter to protect it from any flames.  Best of all it sends the core temperatu

re of the cooking meat to your bluetooth enabled phone, meaning you don’t even have to stand up to check – this is what being on holiday is all about!

Wanting a final core temperature of 74C once the probe indicated we were near 70C the vents of the BGE were closed and the Metal cap replaced with the snuffer cap. The final part of the cooking would be completed using the residual heat of the egg (so we burn less charcoal and the egg cools down quicker for later transport!).

Once 74C was reached the chicken was taken off the grill leaving just the potatoes to finish off.  The chicken was wrapped in foil and allowed to rest for 10 minutes.

The chicken was simply divided into 2, and served with the potatoes a green salad and local tomatoes, and of course a glass or two of the local red wine!  The skin was crispy all over and beautifully flavoured, but the big discover” was cooking the chicken simply sitting on the bed of rosemary – now that is something we will do again …Salute!




Spatchcock Chicken

July 23, 2017
: 2
: 5 min
: 30 min
: 35 min
: Easy

Spatchcock Chicken and Potatoes cooked over charcoal served with a green salad


  • Small Spatchcock Chicken
  • Potatoes
  • Green salad
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Step 1 Set up the BGE with the platesetter and bring the temperature up to around 170C. Beechwood twigs can be added for a little smoke.
  • Step 2 Rub the chicken with a little olive oil all over and then season with a mix of sea salt, pepper and some mixed dried herbs.
  • Step 3 Place a little wild rosemary on the cast-iron grill and sit the chicken on the top. Add a couple of small potatoes on to the grill.
  • Step 4 After around 15-20 mins the chicken will be largely cooked You may want to flip over the chicken just to make sure the skin is crispy
  • Step 5 Once the core temperature is 70C close the vents of the BGE and replace the Metal cap with the snuffer cap. The final part of the cooking would be completed using the residual heat of the egg .
  • Step 6 Once 74C reached take the chicken off the grill and leave the potatoes to finish off. Wrap the chicken in foil and allowed to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Step 7 Divide the chicken into 2 and served with the potatoes a green salad (and a glass or two of the local red wine!)

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