It sounds like something you would say if someone cuts you off on the New Jersey Turnpike. It's actually a delicious way to roast or grill a chicken.

The origins of the word are not entirely clear, but it is mentioned in mid-century European cookbooks and recipes. It was popular a few decades ago in the U.S. and is starting to make a resurgence as a way to grill or roast the perfect chicken.

In this episode of Foodie Friday, made possible by Amalfi’s Restaurant in Lawrenceville, I show you how to spatchcock a chicken and make a delicious fresh basil pesto to coat the chicken with before we grill it.

See the shopping list for all ingredients, then watch the video for how it's done.

Shopping List:

One whole chicken (remove giblets, rinse and pat dry)


  • 2 C. fresh basil leaves (packed)
  • ¼ C. pine nuts
  • 6 Tbsp. cool water
  • ¼ C. grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ C. olive oil (more or less to achieve desired pesto consistency)
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • 3-5 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • ½ tsp. salt and pepper

Eric Scott is Vice President, Senior Political Director and Director of Special Projects for New Jersey 101.5. He anchors "New Jersey's First News" and weekday morning newscasts from 5 to 10 a.m., in addition to hosting a bimonthly Town Hall series.

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