Recipe courtesy of Lackland Air Force Base

Spatchcock Chicken with Pimento Chimichurri

Save Recipe
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 12 hr 40 min (includes brining time)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
Share This Recipe


Two 3-pound chickens

1/2 cup honey 

12 black peppercorns 

6 cloves garlic, crushed

6 sprigs thyme 

2 bay leaves

2 lemons, halved and juiced 

Kosher salt

BBQ Dry Rub, recipe follows

Pimento Chimichurri, for serving, recipe follows

BBQ Dry Rub:

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons paprika 

2 teaspoons chili powder 

2 teaspoon celery seeds 

2 teaspoons mustard seeds 

1 teaspoon ground coffee

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pimento Chimichurri:

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup olive oil 

1/2 cup roughly chopped green onion tops

1/4 cup lemon juice 

1/4 cup lime juice 

1 teaspoon sugar 

3 cloves garlic 

Kosher salt

1/4 cup pimentos, drained and diced 


  1. One at a time, sit the chickens upright on a cutting board and cut down on either side of the backbone to remove. Then cut through the breast plate to split into two halves. Lay flat in a container large enough to hold four chicken halves with brine.
  2. Make the brine by adding the honey, peppercorns, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, lemon juice, 1/2 cup salt and 6 cups water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes to allow the flavor and aroma to build. Remove from the heat, add 4 cups ice and stir until the ice has melted and the brine has cooled. Pour the brine over the chicken and refrigerate for 12 hours.
  3. Set up a grill for direct and indirect heat. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides generously with BBQ Dry Rub. Grill the chicken, skin-side down, over direct heat until grill marks appear. Flip and continue cooking until grill marks appear on the second side. Move the chicken to indirect heat and cover the grill, or move to a 350-degree oven. Cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  4. Serve with a drizzle of Pimento Chimichurri.

BBQ Dry Rub:

  1. Mix together the brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, celery seeds, mustard seeds, coffee, cumin, 2 tablespoons salt and 2 teaspoons pepper in a small bowl.

Pimento Chimichurri:

  1. Add the cilantro, parsley, olive oil, green onions, lemon juice, lime juice, sugar, garlic and 1 teaspoon kosher salt to a food processor. Lightly pulse until smooth. Pour into a bowl and fold in the pimentos. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate until needed.