Monday, February 15, 2010

"Weighty" chicken, matey!

“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.”
This according to Wikipedia. A Google search will get you directions on how to do it. It’s easy.
One reason for cooking a bird this way is that you can get wonderfully crisp skin, especially if you start skin side down in a skillet, weight the bird, and after browning remove the weight, turn the bird skin side up and finish it in the oven.
One of our favorite places to shop is Sunflower Market. They have incredibly good quality produce, organic meats and poultry, and incredibly good prices. The chickens are smallish (3-4 lbs) and free range.

“Weighty” chicken, matey
1 chicken (free range and organic is nice, but any chicken will do in a pinch)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
dried garlic flakes
powdered onion
dried tarragon (optional)

Spatchcock the chicken: i.e. remove the backbone and break the breast bone by pressing it (skin side up) with the heel of your hand.

Brine it in a freezer bag with 2 cups water, 2 tbsp kosher salt, 1 tsp black pepper for an hour or two in the fridge. Remove, rinse, and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Allow to come to room temperature (about 45 minutes) before proceeding. If you choose to add any more salt, do so judiciously. The longer the chicken was brined, the saltier it will be.
Heat an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat with the oil and 1 tbsp butter in it. When the butter’s foam has subsided put the bird in skin side down. Sprinkle some garlic, onion, tarragon (if using). and pepper over it. Cover it with a piece of foil and weight it with another pan (I like to use our teakettle with some water in it).
Sear and brown the chicken for about 8 minutes. Turn the bird skin side up, add some more spices, and put it in the oven uncovered.

Roast until the internal temperature (measured in the thickest part of the thigh) is 165 degrees.


Jenn said...

I did this on the grill last summer. Spatchcocking was a lot easier then I thought. The only problem I had was I forgot to rinse the chicken really well, so it was really about a bummer!

Pam said...

I really need to try spatchcoking a chicken - yours looks perfectly cooked.

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