I am a big proponent of week night grilled chickens. While a turn of the rotisserie is always nice, the time to "roto" a bird is sometimes premium, especially Monday through Thursday. So when the schedule dictates, I move to my second preferred way of grilling a whole bird, the spatchcock.
Whereas a whole chicken, around 3-5 pounds, can take upwards of 90 minutes to cook, a spatchcocked bird, thanks to the increase surface area hitting the grill, can finish in half that. Speaking of surface area, since spatchcocking "spreads" the bird open, this preparation also lends itself nicely to marinades.
The spatchcock process is dead simple: remove the backbone, snap the breast bone, and lay the chicken flat. The only tool needed is a pair of poultry shears.
Place the bird in front of you, breast side down.
Using the shears, cut up one side of the backbone.
Cut up the other side of the backbone.
Remove the backbone.
Spread the cavity open.
To make snapping the breast bone easier, slice down right in the middle of the "V notch.
Flip the bird over and continue to press flat.
From this point, you can either skewer the bird horizontally (to give stability when moving the bird from plate to grill to plate) or leave it un-skewered, like above. I've prepared chickens both ways and frankly, prefer it without the skewers. It's just one less thing to clean.
To finish up, season or marinade the chicken. Then, hit the grill.
Thanks to a little poultry surgery know how, time should never again stop a weeknight chicken.
Now not to get personal, but do you spatchcock?