Monday, June 30, 2008


Don't you think that George Carlin would have had fun with the kitchen term "Spatchcocking"?
This sounds like some kind of kinky bondage or S&M practice. In reality it is a way of removing the spine of the whole chicken so you can butterfly it for cooking.
I had a Free Range Chicken I had picked up at the store and I wanted to do something different than make my World Famous Guantanamo Chicken.
A handy pair of kitchen shears and even I look like I spent time in a M*A*S*H unit with the precision of this cut.
A quick marinade of lemon, olive oil, rosemary, some garlic, salt+pepper and I was ready to bag the chicken for a day before cooking it on the grill. Resealable freezer bags are great, though I usually use a couple of produce bags from the store. They are sturdy and I feel better recycling them.

I fired up the Weber Grill with some hardwood charcoal and did a pretty wide spread on the coals, but still left a portion of the grill empty so the temperature was medium-hot. Usually cooking a chicken this size takes about 60 minutes or so. This bird was done in about 35 minutes. I would suggest starting cooking with the breast side up and cooking for about 10 minutes. Flip the bird over and go for another 10 minutes with the skin side down and then access where you are at that point. Depending on your flame you may need some more direct cooking, if not set the bird over the portion of the grill that is not directly over a flame.

The real hero of this meal with the Grilled Cole Slaw I did as a side. I had seen the recipe in the July issue of Bon Appetit. I liked the grilling aspect of the cabbage, but I tweaked the dressing. The cabbage gets warm and the dressing is a perfect sweet/sour accompaniment. So a tip of the hat to Bon Appetit for the inspiration and a small pat on the back to me for the imagination.

Grilled Cole Slaw
1/2 Head Green Cabbage (quartered)
1/2 Head Red Cabbage (quartered)
1/2 Red Onion-as thin as you can slice it
1 bunch Scallions

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup Sherry Wine Vinegar
1/3 cup Sugar
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

Brush the cabbage with some olive oil and place on the grill. Grill both flat sides for about 4 minutes each. Add the scallions and cook for about 1-2 minutes per side (just get some color). Note: Since the red onion was my addition, I decided to throw it in raw. Rough chop the scallions and thinly slice the cabbage after it has cooled slightly.
For the dressing go ahead and throw everything into a Mason jar, seal and shake to blend.

Grilled Cole Slaw
Any prettier and this would be this could be in a Rockwell painting. Bon Appetit'


Heather said...

All this needs is some pink-cheeked farm children and I'm scared at the perfection.

Foodycat said...

Wow that is a good-looking chicken! I haven't seen such a nice, plump bird in ages. But I totally agree about spatchcocked chicken on the Weber. Succulent and golden perfection!

Foodycat said...

... OK, I just spatchcocked a Guinea Fowl (won't blog about it until we've cooked it) and it was much harder than it looked. I clearly have wimpy girl-hands.