Sticky BBQ spatchcock chicken recipe

(357 ratings)

This sticky BBQ spatchcock chicken recipe is perfect for summer weekends of al fresco dining. Succulent and perfectly cooked, it's a great alternative to the Sunday roast

Sticky BBQ spatchcock chicken
Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time1 hours
Total Time1 hours 10 mins
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories624 Kcal31%
Sugar17.9 g20%
Fat37.3 g53%
Saturated Fat10.2 g51%
Salt1.19 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein53.9 g108%
Carbohydrates19.0 g7%
Salt1.19 gRow 7 - Cell 2

If you want to give al fresco cooking a go this summer, this sticky BBQ spatchcock chicken is the perfect Sunday lunch alternative. 

You can cook it in the oven, or on a barbecue if you have one of a reasonable size, including a lid. Spatchcock is a way of preparing poultry for roasting or grilling by removing the backbone of the bird so it can be opened out and flattened before cooking. This preparation method can be used to speed up the cooking time and ensure an evenly cooked bird. Due to the way oven heat circulates, more heat will go to the legs and thighs and less will go to the breast which tends to dry out easily therefore creating a perfectly roasted chicken.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1.6kg free range chicken




  1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C/400°F/Fan 180°C/Gas Mark 6. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the onion for 10 minutes until soft, adding the garlic for the last 2 minutes. Stir through the honey, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and ketchup and simmer for 2 minutes. Set aside.
  2. To spatchcock the chicken, place breast side down with the cavity towards you. Using heavy duty kitchen scissors cut along both sides of the back bone to remove it. Turn the chicken over and press it down flat.
  3. Transfer to a roasting tin and brush over half of the BBQ sauce. Leave for 30 minutes to marinate. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes.
  4. Brush again with the remaining BBQ sauce and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes until golden and cooked through. Check by piercing the leg – the juices should run clear.

Top tip for making sticky BBQ spatchcock chicken

How do I cook this spatchcock chicken on a barbecue?

Spatchcocking is a great way to BBQ chicken. Cook for 5 minutes on each side on the hottest part of the BBQ then move to a cooler section and continue to cook turning frequently until the flesh is white and firm.

How do I spatchcock a chicken?

If you've never tried this before, it can be a bit daunting, but it's actually quite easy. First turn your chicken upside so the wings are facing upwards and the drumsticks are facing downwards and towards you. There will now be a pointy bit facing towards you - it's known as the parsons nose and it marks the top of the back bone. You are removing the backbone completely, so you want to cut down either side of the parsons nose. It's easiest to use a good pair of kitchen scissors, as you will need to chop through several ribs. 

Make two cuts - one either side of the parsons nose, along the length of the backbone, and remove it. Save it for stock, it makes really good flavour.

Flip the whole chicken over, then press on the top to flatten it out completely. If you want the chicken to keep this shape while it cooks (this is especially useful if you are barbecuing), you can insert two skewers diagonally though the carcass (like the cross on a Scottish flag) to hold it together.

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Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at and has over 10 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the best food hampers to cookbooks, from the best cake stands to kitchen appliances, Jessica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to must-have food products. A passionate baker, she spends some of her time creating celebration cakes for friends and family including her two lucky children.