Easy Techniques for Removing Chicken Backbone

If you are planning on cooking chicken, knowing how to remove chicken backbone is a valuable skill. Removing the backbone from a chicken is also known as spatchcocking. Spatchcocking is a technique used for roasting chicken, turkey, and other birds. It involves removing the backbone and flattening the bird to cook more evenly. The technique is simple, but it can be intimidating for first-timers. In this article, we will break down the process and provide step-by-step instructions so you can learn how to remove chicken backbone like a pro.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

Before you initiate the process of spatchcocking a chicken, ensure that you have the proper tools for the job. You will need a sharp pair of poultry shears or a sharp knife to cut through the bones. A cutting board, a clean surface, and a kitchen towel will also come handy. You may also want to gather a few herbs and spices to season your chicken after spatchcocking.

Step 2: Position the Chicken

The first step in removing the backbone of a chicken is positioning it on a cutting board. Start by placing the chicken breast-side down on the cutting board. The neck and tail should be facing you, and the wings should be facing away from you. Ensure that the head and feet are out of the way and won’t interfere with the spatchcocking process.

Step 3: Remove the Backbone

Next, locate the backbone of the chicken. To do this, use your fingers to feel the back of the bird for a small ridge. The backbone runs along this ridge. Once you have located the backbone, use a sharp pair of poultry shears or a sharp knife to cut along each side of the backbone. Start at the tail end and cut upwards toward the neck. This will completely remove the backbone and allow you to open the chicken like a book.

Step 4: Season Your Chicken

Once you have removed the backbone, you can season your chicken as desired. You may want to use a dry rub, herbs, or spices to add flavor to the chicken. Rub the seasonings on both sides of the chicken and underneath the skin.

Step 5: Roast Your Chicken

Finally, it’s time to roast your chicken. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place the chicken, skin-side up, on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Roast the chicken for about 45-50 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Benefits of Spatchcocking a Chicken

There are numerous benefits to spatchcocking a chicken. Listed below are some of the advantages that you can enjoy from this technique:

  • Flattens out the chicken for more even cooking
  • Reduces cooking time as compared to other cooking methods
  • Results in crispy skin while keeping the meat moist and tender
  • Allows for easy seasoning and adding flavor
  • Easier to slice and portion the chicken

Tips for Perfectly Spatchcocked Chicken

Below are some tips to help you achieve the perfect spatchcocked chicken:

  • Use a sharp pair of poultry shears or a sharp knife to cut through the bones
  • Be careful not to cut through the chicken flesh
  • Remove the backbone carefully to avoid breaking any bones
  • Season the chicken well before roasting for the best flavor
  • Allow the chicken to rest before serving to let the juices redistribute throughout the meat


Now that you know how to remove chicken backbone, spatchcocking a chicken should be a breeze. With a few tools and some practice, you can master this technique and enjoy perfectly cooked chicken every time. Spatchcocking results in juicy and succulent meat with crispy skin that you and your family or friends will love.

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