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Spatchcocked Chicken with Jerk Seasoning Paste


How to Grill Spatchcock Chicken, Grilled Butterflied Whole Chicken

While this chicken got very crispy on the top, it was delish and very moist and juicy on the inside!

Spatchcocked is really just a funny way of saying grilled butterflied chicken.

Much like you need to butterfly a cornish game hen (which is a small chicken) so it will lay flat on the grill, you need to do the same with a whole chicken. Removing the backbone allows the bird to lay flat so the bird can cook more evenly on the grill.

My readers know that I love anything spicy and am smitten with anything “Jerked” so when I saw this “jerk seasoning paste” recipe in Rachel Ray’s 2010 Grilling Edition (in which I was actually mentioned on page 34!) last year, I knew I had to make it. The original recipe and article was by Bill and Cheryl Jamison. I finally got around to it and the recipe below is my version of their original recipe. Just as a FYI, seasoning pastes are spices mixed with a little liquid. They are perfect for spatchcock chicken as the paste can easily be applied under the skin for flavor and then again on top of the skin for a crispy crust! Talk about extra FLA-VAH! :)

Jerk Seasoning Paste, old school look via toycamera application... You guys know I love those fun photo apps!

Jerk Paste: (this is adapted from Bill and Cheryl Jamison’s original recipe featured in Rachel Ray Mag, June Grilling Edition)

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 scallions
  • 1 tblsp allspice berries (ground is okay too)
  • 1 tblsp black pepper corns
  • 2 tsp dried thyme (fresh is even better)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground seasalt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • dash habanero hotsauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Directions, puree all the ingredients in the order they are listed, gradually adding the olive oil at the end. Puree until the paste reaches a uniform consistency.

How to Prepare and Grill a Spatchcock Chicken:

1) Butterflying the chicken: Id recommend buying the chicken at a butcher where you can ask them to do this for you! If you don’t have them do it, you will need to use kitchen shears to cut out the backbone and then press down on the chicken with the palm of your hand to help flatten the bird.

2) Use your finger and loosen the skin on the bird, but be careful not to tear it. Rub the seasoning paste under the skin all over the chicken and then repeat on the outside of the skin. Cover the bird or put in a ziplock and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 24 hours.

3) GRILLING: Preheat your grill to medium, about 350 degrees. Grill the bird, pressing it as flat as possible and flipping/arranging every so often so no side gets too charred (at least every 10 minutes). Total cooking time should be between 35-40 minutes. After the bird reaches an interal temp of 170 at its thickest point, remove from the grill and cover with foil. Let the bird rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting so it has time to reabsorb juices.

Serve with your favorite coleslaw, grilled romaine or favorite grilled veggies and texas toast. If you make this for your family, they will think you are a grilling Goddess!

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17 Responses to Spatchcocked Chicken with Jerk Seasoning Paste

  1. Brian Meagher April 10, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    Jerk recipes and reviews are popping up everywhere lately – must be the Spring – and for good reason. Jerk is oh so spicy and flavorful.

    Your spatchcocked chicken is so simple, and the end result looks beautiful.

    I can attest that the Jamison’s do a great job with recipes. I refer to their “Smoke and Spice” book all the time.

  2. Larry April 10, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    I’ve been using a jerk marinade, but I like the idea of the paste – your chicken looks delicious.

  3. Robyn April 10, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    Thanks Larry. I’m gaga over jerk seasoning and this paste has been my favorite way to use it so far! It also wasn’t overly difficult….

  4. Robyn April 10, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    I love jerk. Anything with spice and I”m a happy camper! :)

  5. Jenn's Food Journey April 11, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    I love jerk seasonings too… though I haven’t made a paste before. This is a great idea!

  6. Chris April 16, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    Jerk is undoubtedly one of my favorite chicken dishes. Smoke and Spice is a fantastic book and the Jamison’s have been very nice when I contacted them with a question or two.

    It looks good, Robyn!

  7. Kim in MD April 17, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    My family loves jerk chicken, and this recipe looks so easy and delicious! Thanks for sharing, Robyn, and congrats on the feature in Rachel Ray’s magazine! :-)

  8. Robyn April 19, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    Thanks Kim! Look forward to seeing your recipes and what you come with!

  9. Sharmeen May 7, 2011 at 2:54 am #

    The Jerk sauce
    recipe look so simple and delicious, this recipe so spicy I like it so much. Thanks sharing for spicy and flavorful recipe.

  10. Robyn May 7, 2011 at 6:48 am #

    I love spice too. HOpe you enjoy!


  11. Melissa Labriola March 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

    Hey lady! I’m going to try these this weekend! I’m so excited. I’m your new biggest fan ha!

  12. Robyn March 24, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    I think I am going to make this tonight. Let me know how it turns out for you! If you don’t feel like making the marinade, you can find a good one at a specialty grocery store, like a whole foods. But homemade is always best! :)

  13. Jodi July 31, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    Great recipe!!!! Try grilling it over real pimento wood like they do in Jamaica. Makes all the difference! You can easily find it on line – just google pimento wood

  14. Robyn August 1, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    Jodi- that’s a great idea. Why didn’t I think of that first!! :)

  15. Robyn August 1, 2012 at 7:53 am #

    Jodie- thanks for the info- why didn’t I try that sooner!!!


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