You Did What To Your Chicken?

The spatchcocked chicken in action.

Long-Suffering Husband is a chicken fanatic. He could eat it every day, I think–just plain, roasted or rotisseried, with some Sal’s Sauce and bleu cheese dressing–and in fact, he gets a little crabby if his Vitamin Ch levels get depleted. So we eat a lot of chicken. I have joked that I am the Bubba Gump of chicken.

For a while now, I’ve been wanting to spatchcock a chicken. Yes, I know how naughty and/or painful that sounds, and I’m sure there are entire Internet forums devoted to it, and probably even a pride flag and a particular color of hankie to wear in one’s back pocket if one is a spatchcocker or spatchcockee. But in terms of the chicken, it’s just a fancy, old-fangled, fun-to-say synonym for “butterfly.” You remove the backbone and the keel bone, give the poor spineless chicken a hearty whack on the back, and she’s laid-out flat and ready to cook. The idea is that the bird cooks more evenly, with fully-cooked dark meat and moist breast meat (you’re giggling like a 7th grader by now, aren’t you?).

We lost a limb in the grilling process. Poor Chicky looks like he's just come home from Iraq.

Well, I’m here to tell you, spatchcocking works. The white meat was delicious, juicy and tender. The dark meat was delicious, juicy and tender. This may be among the Top Five chickens I’ve ever cooked, and I am eager to try spatchcocking a chicken to roast, with some lemon and rosemary.

If you’d like to try spatchcocking yourself, have a look at the excellent tutorial at CookThink. I rubbed my chicken with some olive oil, garlic, fresh oregano, dried rosemary and smoked paprika, but you can use any spices that set your heart afire.

A meal fit for Henry IV

We kept things simple and had a salad of our CSA lettuce with a delicious maple mustard dressing that I promise to post soon. In the meantime, some cocktail party trivia for you. Did you know that Herbert Hoover never promised “a chicken in every pot” if he became President? The slogan was used by the Republicans in their campaign materials, so it’s linked to Hoover, but he didn’t actually say it. Henry IV, however, did wish that each of his peasants would have “a chicken in his pot, every Sunday.”

JFK still did say that he was a jelly doughnut, though. That one we have on film.


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