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A spatchcock, otherwise known as "spattlecock", is poultry or game that has been prepared for roasting or grilling by removing the backbone, and sometimes the sternum of the bird and flattening it out before cooking. The preparation of a bird in such a manner for cooking may also be known as butterflying the bird. The term "spatchcock" is used when the backbone is removed, whether or not the sternum is removed. Removing the sternum allows the bird to be flattened more fully.
"Spatchcock" is also the traditional word for a juvenile chicken (in French, a "poussin"). Poussins or Spatchcocks were generally butterflied in preparation for faster cooking, hence in modern English the word has come to refer to both the bird and the manner in which it was traditionally prepared.
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