Spatchcock is an odd word. I've tried to find the origins of it but there's only speculations, no one is really certain of how the word came into being.
Spatchcock means 'to split a bird open' so it can be laid flat on the grill, or in a frying pan, or a roasting pan.. you get the idea.
Spatchcocking whole quails is one of our favorite ways to prepare them for cooking. We generally spatchcock 4 of them at a time. If we're on it and get to the job early enough in the day, we season the spatchcocked birds and leave them in the fridge until we're ready to cook them for dinner.
Using household scissors, cut the spine on both sides to fully remove it from the body. I save the spines in the refrigerator or freezer, depending on how soon I'll use them. They can be added to a stock pot of other bones, or simply simmered in water with herbs to make a quick and flavorful broth for a soup, stew or to cook grains and legumes in.
The spine fully removed. Using both hands, open up the body from the back, cracking the breast bone. Once the breast bone has cracked the body will lay open and flat, in one piece.
Fully spatchcocked quail, ready for seasoning and cooking.