Cast-Iron Spatchcocked Chicken with Crispy Grilled Kale [with video]

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Cast-Iron Spatchcocked Chicken with Crispy Grilled Kale
Total Time
45 mins

Spatchcocking, or butterflying, the bird ensures quick and even grilling, while a robust spice rub ramps up the flavor. Arrange the mouthwatering results on flame-kissed kale, drizzle with pan juices and a delicate nasturtium butter, and dinner is served. If you want to bypass the grill, roast the chicken for about 30 minutes in a preheated 450°F oven instead.

Servings: 4
  • 1 whole chicken (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 dried pasilla chile, seeded and ground using a mortar and pestle (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Nasturtium Butter (recipe below)
  • Flaky sea salt, such as fleur de sel
  1. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Stack a medium cast-iron skillet inside a larger one and preheat them, too. 

  2. To spatchcock the chicken, remove wings (you can cook them on the side for a Scooby snack). Place bird breast side down on a work surface. Using kitchen shears, make vertical cuts, starting at thighs, down both sides of backbone to remove it. Flip bird over and, using both hands, press down firmly on each side of breastbone, breaking ribs and flattening chicken for grilling. Remove ribcage and wishbone. Cut along leg and thighbones to expose dark meat for even cooking.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together pasilla, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle spice rub over both sides of chicken, pressing with your hands to adhere it to surface. Coat skin side of bird with oil.
  4. Coat bottom of large preheated skillet with oil and add chicken, breast side down. Coat exposed side of chicken with oil and place second skillet on top to weigh it down. Shut grill lid and cook for 25–30 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking and reweighting it with skillet, until skin is golden brown and juices run clear. Transfer to a work surface and let rest for at least 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, massage kale leaves with oil to coat and season with salt and pepper. Grill directly on the grate until kale is crispy and blackened in some spots, 4–5 minutes. Arrange on a serving plate.
  6. Make nasturtium butter.
  7. Using kitchen shears, remove thighs, drumsticks, and both breasts. Slice breasts and plate all of the chicken on top of kale. Spoon some nasturtium butter directly onto hot chicken and whisk the rest into pan juices remaining in skillet. Pour over chicken and finish with nasturtium flowers and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.


Nasturtium Compound Butter
Total Time
3 mins
Servings: 5 tablespoons
  • 8–10 nasturtium flowers (red, yellow, and/or orange), stems removed, petals chopped
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Splash apple cider or rice vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a mixing bowl with a hand whisk or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, combine nasturtiums, butter, lemon zest, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix until ingredients are fully incorporated and butter lightens in color. Use immediately or spoon onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap, roll into a cylinder, and twist ends to secure. Refrigerate until ready to use.


Cast-Iron Spatchcocked Chicken with Crispy Grilled Kale [with video]