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Spatchcock Chicken


1 whole chicken, rinsed & patted dry


1/4 cup olive oil

6 cloves of garlic, minced

zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp. sweet paprika

2 shots of Tsipouro (or Grappa)

1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano (1/2 if dried)

1 tsp. fresh black pepper

1 tsp. sea salt

4-5 bay leaves

         •        Flip your chicken with the back facing up towards you. Using kitchen sheatrs or a heavy sharp knife, cut down along the spine to open the chicken’s cavity. Flip the bird (breast side now facing you) and press down on the carcass with your hands. You may also use a meat mallet or heavy pot to help flatten the bird. Rinse and pat dry the chicken and reserve on a baking tray/vessel.

         •        In a bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, Tsipouro (grappa), thyme, oregano, salt and pepper and whisk well with a fork. Pour the marinade over the chicken, add the bay leaves and rub it into the entire chicken. Cover and place in the fridge for 6 hours to overnight.

         •        Allow your chicken to return to room temperature before grilling. Prepare your gas or charcoal grill with the goal of attaining a medium heat (count of 5 when placing hand over heat). Brush your grill surface and lightly lubricate /wipe with an oil-treated towel.

         •        Season your chicken lightly with coarse sea salt and a bit more fresh ground pepper and when you’ve attained medium heat, slap the bird breast-side down over direct medium heat. In the meantime, add some halved onions, lemons and whole tomatoes and peppers on the grill as they make for a wonderful complement to your spatchcock chicken.

         •        Grill on each side for approx 20 minutes a side and stay near your grill and be wary of any fat flare-ups from the fat in the chicken’s skin. The chicken is easy when the juices run clear, the quarter leg should wiggle/almost come apart from the body or use a meat thermometer (should read 180F).

         •        Remove the chicken from the grill and serve on a platter with BBQ potatoes, grilled lemons, tomatoes and peppers, Drizzle some olive oil on the chicken and squeeze some of the sweet grilled lemon over the bird. Sprinkle some dried Greek oregano and garnish with some thyme or oregano sprigs. Serve with a Boutari “4 Seasons” white.

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