The thrill of spatchcocking chicken isn’t just in saying the name, though it’s admittedly fun. Spatchcocking is a method of flattening a chicken by cutting out the backbone and then opening the bird like a book. This allows the meat to cook more evenly so every bite is equally tender. In this rendition, you’ll create a hot sauce-spiked buttermilk marinade, which infuses the meat with moisture and just enough fiery heat. A wax bean and celery salad stars alongside the chicken, topped with a to-die-for blue cheese and buttermilk dressing.


Credit: Greg DuPree

Recipe Summary

20 mins
4 hrs 35 mins
Serves 4


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • To spatchcock the chicken, place chicken, breast side down, on a cutting board. Using a pair of heavy-duty kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the backbone and remove it. Flip chicken so it's breast side up, then press down to flatten.

  • Stir hot sauce, paprika, 3 cups buttermilk, 3 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish. Add chicken, turn to coat, and place breast side down. Cover; marinate in refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to 12 hours.

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry; discard marinade. Place chicken, breast side up, on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle evenly with oil; sprinkle with ¾ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.

  • Bake chicken until golden brown and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of thigh registers 165°F, 1 hour, 5 minutes, to 1 hour, 10 minutes. Remove from oven; let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into pieces.

  • While chicken rests, stir together blue cheese, parsley, shallot, lemon juice, mustard, and remaining ½ cup buttermilk, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pinch of pepper.

  • Toss beans, sliced celery, and celery leaves on a platter. Serve with chicken and blue cheese dressing for drizzling.