Spatchcocked Buffalo Chicken

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.

Spatchcocked Buffalo Chicken Recipe
Photo: Greg DuPree
Hands On Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 35 mins
4 serves


  • 1 3½-to-4-lb. whole chicken, patted dry

  • ¼ cup hot sauce, such as Tabasco

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • 3 ½ cups whole buttermilk, divided

  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1 ½ teaspoons plus a pinch freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (about ½ cup)

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 1 pound fresh yellow wax beans, blanched

  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced (¾ cup)

  • 1 cup celery leaves


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

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

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