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Grilled chicken leg on a white plate.

Grilled Spatchcocked Chicken

Spatchcocking (or butterflying) a chicken helps it grill more evenly and is so easy to do. The optional rosemary garlic rub makes it even more delicious!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 350kcal


  • Kitchen Shears
  • Instant Read Thermometer
  • Grilling Gloves


Rosemary Garlic Rub

  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary minced
  • 1 tbsp salt or more
  • 1 tbsp garlic coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  • 4 chicken whole chicken 3-4 pound


Prepare the Garlic Rosemary Rub

  • Mix the garlic, rosemary, salt and olive oil in a small bowl.

Spatchcock Chicken

  • Place the chicken breast side down on a cutting board.
  • Using kitchen shears cut up one side of the backbone and then other to remove the backbone.
  • Turn the chicken over and press firmly on the breast to flatten the chicken.

Prepare and Grill the Chicken

  • Rub the chicken on both sides with the rub and if time permits, place in the fridge for 4 to 24 hours.
  • Remove the chicken from the fridge about 30-45 minutes before you are ready to grill.
  • Preheat grill to high heat for 15 minutes. Then clean grates with a brush.
  • Turn heat to medium and oil the grill grates.
  • Place chicken skin side down and grill for 15 minutes. If flare ups occur, move the chicken around.
  • Turn the chicken over and grill for 15 more minutes. Check with an instant read thermometer in the biggest part of the thigh. Grill until temperature reaches 165.
  • Remove from the grill and let rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.



Note - the rub is optional, but it really adds a nice flavor. 
You can definitely use more salt if you'd like, 1 tablespoon is the minimum that I would use.  You can also just sprinkle a little more on after the rub. 
Grilling gloves and an instant read thermometer make this so much easier! 


Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 1837mg | Potassium: 250mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 200IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg