Spatchcocking chicken (or game birds)

Discussion in 'Meat and Poultry' started by morning glory, Dec 5, 2018.

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  1. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    I've just been watching James Martin (UK TV Chef) spatchcocking a chicken. He used poultry scissors to cut either side of the back bone and removed the bone, then flattened the bird out and pressed down. He made this look very easy. I confess I've never spatchcocked any birds before - but now I'm thinking its such a simple thing to do and cuts down on cooking time.

    Have any of you spatchcocked chicken or other birds? What are your techniques for spatchcocking? And of course, how do you cook that spatchcocked bird?
     
  2. rascal

    rascal Senior Member

    I cook it the same way as james, I've watched his programmes. Seems like a nice guy. I've actually split open a few legs of lamb as well for the BBQ.

    Russ
     
  3. Karen W

    Karen W Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Over the Rainbow
    Somewhere, here, I shared a link for jacque Pepin's method - started on the stovetop in a cast iron pan, and finished in the oven. Or, grilling is another way to go. Will repost when I can find it.
     
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  4. MrsDangermouse

    MrsDangermouse Senior Member

    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    Yep its not that difficult so long as you have a sharp and strong pair of scissors (or poultry shears). Once you've cut the backbone out you just open it up and spread it out as flat as you can - I put a couple of long skewers through it in a St Andrews cross shape to help it stay flat and to stop the wings and legs flopping about, it makes it easier to turn it over too. I usually spatchcock a chicken if we want to roast it on the BBQ so that it cooks quicker.
     
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  5. medtran49

    medtran49 Senior Member

    Location:
    SE Florida
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
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  6. CraigC

    CraigC Senior Member

    Location:
    SE Florida
    Ever heard of chicken under a brick?:woot:
     
  7. MrsDangermouse

    MrsDangermouse Senior Member

    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    Nope, never heard of it, but I just googled it and it seems to be using bricks to keep the chicken flat?
    I think I'll stick with skewers....they take up far less storage room than bricks :okay:
     
  8. medtran49

    medtran49 Senior Member

    Location:
    SE Florida
    Bricks are partially to keep it flat, but supposedly the direct pressure contact makes the skin crisper too.
     
  9. MrsDangermouse

    MrsDangermouse Senior Member

    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    I'm not sure I believe that for chicken. For duck maybe, because there's a thick layer of fat between the flesh and the skin. But on a chicken there is very little fat between the skin and the breast so I'd have thought that pressing the skin into the breast whilst cooking is more likely likely to steam the skin than make it crispy - unless of course you provide a layer of fat.

    I've never had a problem getting crispy skin on roast chicken though: I either baste with fat & juices until around halfway through the cooking process, or I loosen the skin on the breast and squidge in a layer of butter between the breast meat and the skin before I put it in the oven.
     
  10. medtran49

    medtran49 Senior Member

    Location:
    SE Florida
    I don't know. It's been so long since we made this that I've forgotten how it turned out, which doesn't necessarily mean it was a bad thing. We make a lot of things we really like that we don't repeat often. Case in point, the gyro meat recipe I just posted. We made it first in July of 2016, then not again until October 2017, and, now that @The Late Night Gourmet and @Toffeeapple reminded us, probably in December 2018.
     
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  11. Planethoff

    Planethoff Member

    Location:
    Florida
    It's pretty easy if you have a good set of poultry shears. I also recommend cutting out the wishbone to make it lie flat more easily. It cooks in much less time and all skin is nice and crispy. It is pretty much the only way I will cook a full bird now.
     
  12. Karen W

    Karen W Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Over the Rainbow
    You can also spatchcock the Big Bird - turkey. I've seen the small cornish game hens cooked on a George Foreman grill. Martha Stewart, as I recall, cooked them on a sheet pan in the oven.
     
  13. Planethoff

    Planethoff Member

    Location:
    Florida
    After some thought, I am willing to say spatchcock is better than rotisserie. Unless it is spatchcock rotisserie.
     
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  14. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    I must get spatchcocking!
     
  15. Planethoff

    Planethoff Member

    Location:
    Florida
    BBQ Chicken resting after being pulled from smoker
    4B7CC3E8-6B7C-4770-BD2C-D28BA2718A88.jpeg
    This year’s Turkey
    41D9792A-D821-4CC2-AA2C-4F9388541772.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
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