I was looking for a quick and easy recipe to test out my new Thermapen MK4. This is the new Thermapen that has some pretty cool features like auto rotating display, backlight and is waterproof. This spicy spatchcock chicken recipe is a perfect way to test out the Thermapen since there really aren't any rules on how to cook it. After processing the chicken by taking out the backbone and forcing it flat, you can sit it over indirect heat for an hour or so and then when it is almost finished cooking, say in the 150 degree internal temperature range, you put it over direct hot heat to crisp up the skin and finish cooking. The way I cook this is more temperature based, not time based, so when the temp reaches almost 150, I move it to direct heat. Let's do it!
For the dry rub I did a quick eyeball mixture of salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, and Cayenne pepper. Nothing fancy but it works.
Light the grill for a medium high indirect heat and place an aluminum tin underneath of where the chicken will be placed.
Oh look at that! If you are a Thermapen user you'll see immediately that the display has rotated. That's pretty awesome for when one hand has the grill lid and the other is taking a temperature. It's much more convenient. Note that temperature - 139. It's not done, but in a few minutes it will be close enough to move the chicken over to direct heat. Use tongs and take that chicken and put it skin down directly over the fire.
Oh the smell will knock you out! Close that dome and let it cook for a few minutes (maybe 5). Then check the temperature again with your Thermapen. After 5 minutes the temperature was in the 150s, so I moved the chicken away from the heat and tossed on some Johnsonville jalapeno cheddar stuffed sausages.
There we go, sausages are done and chicken is done. Just a few degrees away from 165 in this photo but the rest of the chicken was in the 170s. After a short rest the entire bird safely registered appropriate temp.
Spicy spatchcock chicken is my new thing to do. It can be described as more of a grilled chicken taste as opposed to when you grill the entire chicken without spatchcocking it can be more like a roasted chicken from an oven. I think the difference is that the shape of the spatchcocked chicken allows you to place it skin down directly over the heat to give it that direct heat grilled chicken taste. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Note: I didn't really touch on how to process the bird for a spatchcock. It's really simple. Clean the bird and then use scissors to cut out the backbone. If you can't get the scissors through the bone then you are too far away from the spine. Start cutting a little closer and you'll be able to easily make cuts all the way up on both sides of the spine. The backbone is then easily removed. Flip the chicken over and push it down flat. This is a bit harder with a spatchcock turkey but for a chicken you just push it down flat. And clearly Thermoworks sent me that gorgeous Thermapen MK4 to test out. I love it!