The Real Difference Between Spatchcocking And Splaying Your Chicken

Roasting a chicken can either be the easiest way to prep a meal or the most daunting Regardless of the level of difficulty involved, one thing is for certain: roasting a chicken is not something you can do quickly or on a whim because depending on its size, roasting can take a good whack of time.

But there are ways to get a whole chicken ready so it cooks quickly and evenly, and it all comes from spending a bit of time with the meal prep.

The quickest way of roasting a chicken is by spatchcocking the fowl before cooking it, which involves cutting the chicken up so it looks like a butterfly instead of roasting it as a whole. To do this, cut alongside the chicken's breastbone to split it open, and force it down with the palm of your hand so it goes flat. Experts like Martha Stewart say spatchcocking will ensure you get a beautifully roasted fowl, although you may need to overlook comments from the more persnickety, who might note that the chicken looks weird.

Splaying a chicken gives you evenly roasted thighs and breasts

If members of your family or friends are spatchcock chicken-averse, you might want to go with splaying the whole chicken instead, which involves cutting the skin that keeps the chicken's thighs close to the breast, so that the thighs and legs are able to fall open, and then pressing down slightly until the joints give. The New York Times' Melissa Clark, who goes into the different ways to prep a chicken before roasting, reckons that splaying will leave you with white meat and dark meat that will be equally tasty, and equally in demand. 

Regardless of the way you cut your chicken, one of the best ways to ensure a perfect roast chicken is to handle it with a bit of TLC.