10 March 2012

Instruments of "Eeeew!"

I have always been the girl that has the butcher do the work for her ... but I was recently on YouTube and found an instructional vid on "how to splatch cock a chicken". Being clueless, and highly curious, I clicked in and after plugging my ears when the kitchen shears and boning knife came out, I watched the procedure. After the videographer got through with the snip and crunch, he cleaned up the little bird, and flipped it over to show just what a beautifully butterflied chicken looks like. I was sold. I kept telling myself that I could do this, do this, do this ...

Okay ... you can stop laughing if you are one of those that whacks away with nary a squeamish thought. This was a HUGE accomplishment for me. I've committed to one measly chicken and I feel great! I just want to know how all those farm wives EVER got over killing and plucking, and chopping up their sweet little chickens ... day after day! We won't even talk about Babe the pig or Bossie the cow!

So today I  screwed up my queasy little self and got out my kitchen shears and the sharpest and pointiest knife that I own. Then, singing really loud, I snipped the backbone right out of my little chicken, flipped it and sliced the breast bone and cartilage out as neat as a pin, picked away at any 'yuck' stuff in the now open cavity of the little bird's torso, rinsed and dried everything and prepped a lovely little bed of onions, garlic cloves, lemon chunks, and herbs.

Little bird is presently resting on that aromatic bed  ... and later we will have a roasted little bird with a warm bean salad and a pan of Sicilian kale. The wine is getting cold. Wish you could come on over and share this meal! I just read about Dom's experience at his supper club and I'm jealous ... we don't know any foodies in this rural backwater that would join a 'supper club' ... boo hoo.

Oh well, a girl can dream ...and sing real loud as the dirty work gets done. Eeeeew! I mean ... YUM!
It will still be a long cold day in 'you know where' before I whack up a lobster that's still alive, but a chicken? A chicken I can do!

Roasted Butterflied Chicken


1- 3 to 4 lb. chicken, butterflied, washed and dried
olive oil oven spray or about 1 tbsp. olive oil
2 medium sized onions, large wedges
2 lemons, washed and chopped into large wedges
10 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 tbsp. dry white wine
generous sprinkles of dried rosemary, black pepper, thyme, sweet paprika, Kosher salt

Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees F and rub olive oil over an oval in the bottom of a heavy roasting pan (about the size of the butterflied chicken).

Arrange the onions, garlic, and lemon pieces over the olive oil. Sprinkle on the white wine and then the herbs and salt.

Splay the butterflied chicken out over top of the roasting 'bed', spritz with olive oil spray or rub with some oil, sprinkle on some of the herbs and a generous amount of paprika. Spritz or drizzle a bit more olive oil.

Roast for about and hour and fifteen or until the injector thermometer registers 165 degrees F at the thickest portion of the thigh and breast.

Remove and cover the roasting pan with a heavy dishtowel. Let rest for several minutes while you plate the rest of your meal.

Split the chicken along the central breast where the keel bone and cartilage used to be or carve slices or specific pieces free and serve.


  1. I am duly impressed! This is something I lack the courage to attempt.

  2. Wow, wow, wow Susan! What a meal and you and sharpy, pointy instruments rule the day with that incredible butterflied chook job :) The sides look oh so good too!!

    chow :) Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  3. I take out the back bone all the time when I grill a whole chicken. The brave part I believe is what you did when you took the meat off the breast. I have never tried that. Its the fear of wasting all that breast meat. I am so glad it came off easily for you. You gotta love a good chicken dinner.

  4. Thanks for posting this... really! I'm not one the squeamish ones, I'll whack away, but with reckless abandon. Great to the correct way to do it.

  5. very impressed!... I remember portioning a chicken a year or so back, just to say that I have done it... never again... all that bone cracking wasn't pleasant, although your chicken is mightily mightily impressive!

    1. Honey, you just weren't singing loud enough!

  6. I haven't ever spatchcocked a chicken...so I'm with you. It's always been the 'scar task' but you seem well equipped! Very WELL DONE - I'm proud of you. For what its worth.


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