Spatchcocking a bird involves removing the backbone before flattening out the breasts and legs. It’s an old way to speed-up the cooking time of poultry and game as it allows the heat to pass more evenly around the bird, ensuring that the legs cook as quickly as the breasts… it also means that it’s the perfect technique for air-frying. Here, a 4 lb chicken is spatchcocked and a spice rub is applied before being roast in the air-fryer; this size of chicken should be suitable for most air-fryers, but if you have a larger fryer then you can, of course, cook a larger bird. The result is wonderfully moist chicken with a crisp, spicy skin.
To spatchcock the chicken, place the bird breast-side-down on a sturdy chopping board and, using a sharp knife or a pair of scissors, cut from the rear cavity up to the neck cavity along either side of the back bone. This will remove a strip approx. 1 ½ inches wide from the back of chicken. Once the backbone has been removed, gently press down on the bird to flatten in out.
Mix the oil and lemon juice and rub it all over the chicken.
Mix the remaining dry ingredients and rub them over the chicken too.
Preheat the air-fryer for 3 minutes at 425°F (220°C). Place the chicken in the air-fryer and roast for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350°F (180°C).
Remove the chicken and leave it to rest for 10 minutes before serving.