Sunday, December 19, 2010

Spatchcock Chicken

Wikipedia - A spatchcock is a poussin or game bird that is prepared for roasting or grilling or a bird that has been cooked after being prepared in this way. The method of preparing the bird involves removing the backbone and sternum of the bird and flattening it out before cooking.

That all sounds very technical and scientific, doesn't it? I made a chicken this way for a cooking challenge and it has become my go-to way of roasting them now. Quick and easy but the worst part is cutting out that backbone and flattening the bird, you do hear the bones crunch...yuck!!

But I get over it quickly when I know that this is what I get when it is done.

You are actually supposed to spread the legs out evening and basically flatten it but my cast iron skillet isn't large enough to do that.  So you live when it and make due.

Here's what you need:

A chicken
salt and pepper
olive oil or butter

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.  You heard it right...500 degrees.  Then stand back because baby, that's one hot oven.

Slice the onion in wedges, peel the potatoes and cut in wedges and wash the carrots.  I buy the baby carrots that really need no prep.  Just neglect them, they will forgive you later.

Then start work on the chicken.  Make sure your kitchen shears are sharp then start on one side of the back bone.  Then cut down the other side.  It can be touch, just grab all the strength you've got to cut into it.
Flip that baby over, lay it as flat as possible and press the breast bone to flatten it more.

Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands.  And the cutting board and the shears.

Season it up nicely and then add some butter or olive oil to the skin.  Yum...nothing better than crispy skin.

Then wash your hands all over again.  When you are done working with raw poultry, you should have washed your hands 537 times.  Just sayin'...some people need to be reminded.

Next, move it to the skillet with the veggies.  Again, try to keep it flat.  That will lessen the cooking time.  If you're like me and don't have anything big enough just increase the time.  But don't be like me and let the onions and wings burn (you can cover them with foil).

Spread out the carrots and potatoes as much as possible.  The ones underneath get moist and tender while the ones on the top roast to perfection.

Put it in the oven for about 20 minutes then start checking it.  It really all depends on the size of the bird and how flat you get it.    The skin gets crispy and the potatoes and carrots are to die for.  And gosh, I've forgotten to tell you how moist the meat is, all of it.  Dark or white, it is juicy and tender and oh so good.

This is one dish that is just as good the next day.  So hid some for lunch tomorrow because if your house is like mine, there usually aren't a lot of leftovers unless you plan for them!

Enjoy - Live, Laugh, Love

Karen and Charlie

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