Grilled Goat Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Spatchcock Chicken

Judy Armstrong Recipe

By Judy Armstrong JudyHArms

15 Min
1 Hr

The stuffing keeps the grilled chicken moist and adds so much extra flavor to traditional grilled chicken. This dish presents beautifully for a special dinner for family and friends. Spatchcocking a chicken is so much easier than it sounds!

pinch tips: How to Measure Ingredients

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Notes from the Test Kitchen:
This combo of spinach, goat cheese and roasted tomatoes is truly scrumptious!


4 oz
chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
6 oz
fresh baby spinach, chopped
4 clove
garlic, minced
4 oz
goat cheese, crumbled
2 tsp
lemon zest, divided
2 Tbsp
fresh thyme leaves
1 medium
whole chicken (approximately 3 pounds)
1 tsp
1 tsp
1 tsp
fresh ground black pepper
2 Tbsp
vegetable oil
2 small
lemons, quartered
4 sprig(s)
fresh thyme for garnish

Directions Step-By-Step

Prepare grill to medium heat.
Drain and chop the sun-dried tomatoes, reserving drained oil. Use a paper towel to remove excess oil from the chopped tomatoes. In a medium bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes, spinach, garlic, goat cheese, one teaspoon lemon zest and thyme leaves.
Spatchcock the chicken by using poultry shears to cut down both sides of the backbone and removing it. Open the chicken (like a book) and skin-side down, use a paring knife to gently cut out the breastbone and white cartilage. Turn the chicken back over and starting at the neck, gently insert fingers under the skin and between the meat to loosen the skin over the breast and the top portions of the legs. Gently stuff and distribute equally, the Goat Cheese and Spinach mixture under the skin.
Brush the reserved oil from the tomatoes over the chicken and season all over with the salt, paprika, and pepper.
Brush the vegetable oil over the grill grate. Place the chicken on the grill (cut side down first) and grill over direct heat for 20 minutes per side, and the internal temperature inserted into the thickest portion of the thigh reaches 180 degrees F.
Transfer the Grilled Goat Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Spatchcock Chicken to a serving platter. Sprinkle the chicken with the reserved lemon zest and garnish with the sprigs of fresh thyme. Serve with the quartered lemons to be squeezed on each serving.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Chicken
Main Ingredient: Chicken
Regional Style: American

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Gary Hancq SidEFied
Jul 18, 2011
Judy, I will have to try. Had not heard of the term before. A Great Presentation you did. A little googleing provided detailed pictures along with detailed instructions on the method of spatchcocking.

Here is the link:

I've used the method but never knew it by its name. I'll soon add my recipe of Rock Cornish Hens and Wild Rice. Using this method and placing Bay Leaves under the skin of the small bird.

Happy Cooking, Gary
Aug 5, 2011 - Monica H shared this recipe with discussion groups: CHATTERBOX CHICKEN DISHES Dreams of Cheese What's Cookin' Today?
Aug 20, 2011 - Christine Fernandez shared this recipe with discussion group: Kiss the Chef
Kitchen Crew JustaPinch
Aug 26, 2011
Janet awarded this recipe a Blue Ribbon!

This combo of spinach, goat cheese and roasted tomatoes is truly scrumptious!
Aug 26, 2011 - Kitchen Crew shared a photo of this recipe. View photo
Judy Armstrong JudyHArms
Aug 27, 2011
Thank you for testing and taking such a great picture of my recipe. Judy
Angela A Hurtado-Greenwood Angelina777
Aug 30, 2011
I didn't know this was called Spatchcocking!! I've have done this since I was 14, we had lots of chickens (Victory Garden), my dad was an (unwilling butcher, he loved the chickens, he said they looked himin the eye). We'd wash them real good,"spatchocked" em (left bones in), seasoned with s&p, wrapped each in the spread out fashion, with lots of butcher and waxpaper (that's what we used then), and twined to keep covered and flat!! We baked or fried them flat! They didn't last long in the freezer. Made mom's work easier.
Angela A Hurtado-Greenwood Angelina777
Aug 30, 2011
Judy your Spatchcocked Chicken looks yummy, we love the spinach and cheese with the stuffing idea, and with all those herbs!! I will certainly use your recipe with my next chicken!! Thank you Judy!!
Judith Fuselier-Phillips Judith1
Aug 31, 2011
Love this recipe, very flavorful and I did not know the term either.We learn every day. I was born in Oakdale La. and most of my family is still there. I know their are great cooks all in the area!!
Angela A Hurtado-Greenwood Angelina777
Aug 31, 2011
I forgoto to mention that I did this because the chickens couldn't fit in our freezer without being able to flatten them before hand!! We had company, they were from the Orient - we only had 2 "flat" chickens left, - so we browned them and cooked them till juices ran clear, then prepared vegetables, put in our dutch oven; 2 cups of rice, with onions, garlic, celery, bell pepper, herbs soy sauce, ground ginger, s&p in our baking dutch oven with chicken bouillion, and butter, placed the well-seasoned browned chickens on top of the rice, and roasted until chickens were well-browned and rice was done (We often did that with day old french bread too). It looked so nice and tasted fantastic!! Our company was so pleased, and interested in how the chickens were so flat!! lol
Sherri Williams logansw
Sep 9, 2011
congrats on your blue ribbon! what a fabulous recipe...gonna have to make this one for sure. thanks for sharing! sw:)
Straws Kitchen CinCooks
Nov 15, 2011
Judy...congratulationsfor getting a blue ribbon AND on making it to the Home Page!!!
Linda Jay Laffinladee
Nov 15, 2011
This recipe would work for us low carb cookers,too!!!Thanks ever so much!!I LOVE goat cheese and herbs n chicken,so,GOT TO do this recipe!!!
Nov 15, 2011
OMG Judy, What a dish!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS for winning the blue ribbon. I have to try this recipe real soon #5