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23 September 2010 @ 09:58 pm
Spatchcocked and grilled a chicken tonight, it was the most delicious chicken I have ever cooked. Thus I record it for posterity, mayhap immortality!

1 whole chicken (chicken-chicken pounds)
salt and pepper
butter
salt and pepper
garlic
salt and pepper
worcestershire sauce (you have to say it like sean connery or it doesn't count and won't taste as good)
salt and pepper
assorted herbage from the herb basket in the yard that is being overtaken by the surrounding vining flowers (sage, thyme, maybe basil? *shrug* rosemary!)
salt and pepper

aromatic (I used an apple, onion would work, so would something citrusy)

a couple of long metal skewers

Take the butter out and leave it on the counter for 30-60 minutes to soften (about 3-4 tablespoons)
Mince the garlic
Chop the herbage
Combine softened butter with a couple of shakes of worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, and assorted chopped herbs. If possible, perform this step a day ahead (this doesn't matter, I did it 15 minutes ahead and it came out great (see above wherein I establish that this was the most delicious chicken I have ever cooked)(nested parentheses, ho!)). Also, salt and pepper. Mostly pepper. Remove newly compounded butter (continuously compounded?) to sheet of plastic wrap, then form into log and place in fridge (overnight) or freezer (fifteen minutes).

If grilling, start the charcoal so that it has time to burn down to white. We're going to need 350 degrees for an hour, so keep that in mind. Also, the chicken will not be directly above the coals, so make sure that there is a spot for it.

Chop aromatics into slices or pieces - it will be going under the skin, because spatchcocking plays no favourites and leaves no cavities.

Remove chicken from package and remove package from chicken (neck and assorted organs). Rinse chicken and pat dry. Wash hands. Sing the happy birthday song whilst washing hands. Realize that every time Emeril "washed his hands" after touching raw poultry on his show he just ran them under the water with some soap for all of five seconds and then moved on with his salmonella self.

Using kitchen shears cut on either side of the backbone, remove the backbone, and save it with the neck bone for stock or soup. Spread chicken out. There should be some crackling. It is now spatchcocked. Boo yeah. Wash! Your! Hands!

Remove butter from appliance and cut into pieces. Insert pieces under chicken skin. You can cut a little pocket in the breast on either side and stuff a piece in there if you want. Insert slices of aromatic into skin as well. Insert skewers from side to side, this will make it much easier to flip (probably using tongs anyway).

Washing, washing, washing of the hands, hands, hands.

Salt and pepper both sides, then place on grill.

Grill it with the lid on for an hour at 350, flipping every 15 minutes. B/w 350 and 400 is okay, shoot for the lower end. You should be able to use the air vents to regulate the temp, but keep an eye on the coals in case it looks like they're dying down and need more Osubscript2. Hit it with some more salt and pepper on each flip.

At the end of the hour, check it with a thermometer. Breast should be 165, thigh should be 175, make sure the thermometer probe isn't touching bone, that'll throw the reading off. Different specific heat.

Remove the chicken to a plate and cover with foil to rest for 15 minutes. This is not a cooling step, if you try to carve it after 15 minutes and reach out with your uncovered left hand to steady it, you will burn yourself... and if you're me, you'll burn yourself a couple more times. Get a fork. You need your hands to make a living. Yeah.

I didn't make gravy tonight, but the juice from the resting plate was delicious on my mashed potatoes. Sadly the grilling results in all of the drippings ending up as contributions to the gods of fire and deliciousness.

The skin was crispy and delicious (I'm going to be using that word a lot), the meat was moist and tender and well seasoned, and carried a nice flavour, and delicious!!! I'm always sad when I go through a lot of work with the brining and the herbs and such and it still just kind of tastes like chicken at the end. Not so with this technique! Delicious! Exuberance!

Spatchcocking works fine in the oven as well, I've done it over a bed of potatoes, carrots, and onions to soak up the juices. That time was not as delicious as this, I think it has to do with the butter and the salt and pepper.

Spatchcocked! Worcestershire!