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Spatchcocked Chicken with Blackberry Barbecue Sauce

Cook Time:
1 hr
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

While the chicken is marinating and cooking on the grill, the barbecue sauce can be made. The chicken can rest and be served at room temperature. Blackberries are a great mid-summer fruit and complement the grilled chicken perfectly. The berries add a subtle sweetness to the sauce to play off the heat of the chiles and the acid of the vinegar.

Technique tip: Any remaining sauce will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week or in the freezer for 6 months.


  • 1 (4-pound) whole chicken
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • 2 oranges, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Blackberry Barbecue Sauce (makes 2 quarts)
  • 3 pints fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 habanero pepper
  • 1 bottle dark beer
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coffee
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle powder


For the chicken:


Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and place on a cutting board, breast-side down. Using sharp kitchen shears, cut the backbone out and reserve it for stock.


Flip the chicken over and forcefully push down until the chicken lays flat.


Mix oregano, paprika, orange zest and juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper in a plastic bag. Add chicken and allow to marinate 2 to 4 hours in the refrigerator.


Set up your grill with a hot and cool side by only building the coals on one side. If using a gas grill, only turn on one side.


Place chicken skin-side down on the hot side of the grill for 3 to 5 minutes. Flip and move to the cooler side of the grill.


Cover the grill and cook the chicken until internal temperature reaches 165 F, about 45 minutes. Remove from the grill and let rest for 15 minutes before cutting into pieces.

For the blackberry barbecue sauce:


Add all of the ingredients for the sauce into a saucepan and cook for 2 hours over medium-low heat.


Remove the sauce from the heat and place into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.


Strain the sauce before serving. It will continue to thicken as it cools.