How to Spatchcock a Cornish Game Hen

How to Spatchcock a Cornish Game Hen

How to spatchcock poultry

is a quick and simple technique, but is a useful tool in your culinary arsenal. To spatchcock is to split a bird, usually by removing the backbone, so that the bird can lay flat while roasting or grilling. I’ve demonstrated the technique here on a cornish game hen. However, this technique can be done on any type of poultry like a chicken, quail, turkey or goose alike.

Whole cornish game hen on butcher paper

Some of the benefits to spatchcocking poultry are:

– More even cooking. Long gone are the days of dry breast meat or under cooked thighs.
– faster cooking times. By flattening out the bird you have increased the surface area so that the heat can get inside quicker. This also contributes to more even cooking.
-Ability for more flavor. Remember what I said about increasing surface area? Well, now you have more area to spread your herbs and seasonings increasing the flavor level and satisfying all those hungry palates.
-Versatility. You can do just about anything with a spatchcocked bird. Roast, grill, braise, poach, saute, smoke…no, not like that.
-That oh-so-tasty-crispy skin. What’s the best part of the bird? yes, the skin. How do we like it? The ONLY way, crispy. By flattening out the bird you have just exposed the skin to that caressing heat. The kiss of even heat will result in that most sought after crispy skin that’s everyone’s guilty pleasure.

Overhead shot of spatchcocked cornish game hen with garlic, parsley, bay leaves and kitchen shears

How do we do this spatchcock thing?

It’s pretty simple. First, flip the bird over so that it’s laying breast down and it’s legs are toward you. Locate the back bone right in the middle. Now, with good kitchen shears cut along one side of the spine all the way up. Then, move to the other side of the spine and cut all the way to the neck swiftly removing the spine. Next, break the breast bone so that when flipped over the bird will lay flat.

Steps on how to spatchcock poultry collage

You may need to cut through the breast bone with your shears. Now that the spine is removed and the bird is flipped so that the breast and legs are showing, trim the wing tips. Reserve the spine and tips for making stock at a later time. You can know say hello to your very own spatchcocked bird.

overheard of spatchcocked cornish game hen with text "how to spatchcock a cornish game hen".