This recipe was inspired by my partnerships with Primo Ceramic Grills. All opinions and ideas are always my own!
Grilled Moroccan Spatchcock Chicken:
Last week I received a whole chicken as a part of my Hen House CSA partnership and knew I needed to try cooking this on my new Primo Ceramic Grill! Spatchcock chicken is one of my favorite ways to prepare a whole bird. For starters, it takes a lot less time to cook in this form and lays flat nicely. I also think it is a really simple and easy way to make an impressive looking meal! You can do this easily enough in the oven, but it’s summertime after all and the grill was calling my name. I’ve made a few other recipes that are similar to this, like my Easy Weeknight Roasted Chicken and my very popular Whole Roasted Chicken Shawarma. I love adding unique flavors to such a simple cook and was feeling inspired by Moroccan flavor profiles. You can find the full recipe for Grilled Moroccan Spatchcock Chicken below and read on for several tips and tricks for grilling this beautiful bird.
- Grill Thermometer (or meat thermometer)
- Kitchen Shears
- Wide Container (for marinating)
- Knife/ Cutting Board
Spatchcock (aka butterflied) chicken is actually fairly easy to do at home. I prefer to use high quality kitchen shears to prepare my whole chicken. Use the scissors to cut to the right of the backbone, then to the left of it to completely remove it. I like to freeze mine and save it to make homemade chicken stock. Next, I use the kitchen shears to remove any excess neck skin or tail skin. Remove any remaining organs as well (I discard these but you can cook them up and share with your dog too). To prep the chicken and ensure a nice crispy outside, I highly recommend using a paper towel and drying off the chicken and removing any outside moisture. This helps keep the skin dry and get nice and crunchy! Use butter or olive oil and combine it with the spices. Cover the whole chicken front and back with the marinade and allow it to hang out for several hours. I typically prep this a day ahead of time if I can, otherwise even a few hours will work fine!
To make this Grilled Moroccan Spatchcock Chicken , I took a two step approach. I started by cooking on indirect heat. This way the chicken is cooked almost all the way before giving it a nice sear to get the skin crispy. What I love about my Primo is that is has deflector plates that help disperse the heat allowing you to easily switch from indirect to direct heat with a charcoal grill. No matter which grill you are using (charcoal or gas), make sure to keep the chicken on the cooler side and you can use the same technique. One word of advice I learned- Use a large metal skewer to spear through the legs across the bottom of the chicken. This makes it easier to flip the bird (hahaha that made me laugh) on the grill without a nice tender juicy leg falling off (that is morbid after all). Your goal is to get that bird onto direct heat around the 145-150 degree mark. I let each side get a nice sear/ a bit of char to it and wait for the temperature to register to about 155-160F. Pull the bird off and allow it to rest (leave the thermometer in the largest part of the breast meat). Resting allows the chicken to reach a temperature of 165F and allows the juices to settle so the chicken stays moist and delicious!
To separate the chicken into servable pieces I start by removing the wings. Next, remove both legs (you can also separate the drumstick from the thigh as well). Use a nice sharp carving knife to remove the breast meat from the rib cage. I like to slice the breast meat into pieces at an angle and plate/ serve this way so there are more opportunities to enjoy the light and dark meat. If you feel adventurous, cook some grilled veggies towards the end of grilling your bird! I made some grilled and marinated radishes (they look like potatoes but are lower carb), eggplant, tomatoes, and olives. Serve with a side of chimichurri and you’re well on your way to a spectacular summer dinner!
Enjoy this fabulous Grilled Moroccan Spatchcock Chicken friends!
- 1, 2-3 lb Whole Chicken (smaller birds work best)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil or Softened Butter
- Grilled Vegetable Pairings: Eggplant, Tomatoes, Radishes, and Olives
- Chimichurri (recipe link in post)
Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Use a sharp pair of kitchen shears or a sharp knife to cut/slice to the right and left of the back bone. Remove the bone and freeze for chicken stock. Trim any excess neck skin and tail skin and discard. Remove any organs that remain and discard.
Open the bird up and place it so the back side is down. Push on the breast bones from the front to help crack the rib cage so the bird lays flat.
Place a skewer across the bottom through both leg muscles. This helps with flipping on the grill so the legs don't fall off (morbid...I know).
In a bowl, combine the oil or butter and all the seasonings. Coat the chicken front and back with the marinade. Allow the chicken to marinade overnight if possible or for a least 2-4 hours before grilling.
Preheat your grill (for indirect cooking) to 250 F. Insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken breast.
Place the chicken over indirect heat and allow it to reach an internal temperature of about 145-150F.
Move the grill up to 375-400F and place over the direct heat. Allow each side to get a bit of a sear and allow the skin to get crispy. The internal temperature should reach about 160F before removing from the grill.
Once you remove from the grill, allow it to rest for 10 minutes. It should reach a final resting internal temperature of 165F.
Slice the chicken by removing each wing, the leg, and then separate the drumstick from the thigh. Use a carving knife to cut along the breast bone to remove each chicken breast. Slice the breast meat into servable pieces.
Accompany the Moroccan inspired chicken with grilled vegetables and chimichurri sauce.