> I get a strange thrill out of butchering meat. I don’t know if it’s the sensation of entering a man’s domain, normally inhabited by burly males with blood spattered aprons, or if it’s the sensual excitement of working with raw meat. All I know is that I derive great satisfaction from taking a knife to a daunting piece of meat, and turning it into something appetizing.
I was strolling through the North Market this fall when I saw my first spatchcocked chicken. He was gorgeous, lying in a balsamic marinade in his vacuum sealed bag. My heart raced as I handed over a $20 bill to make him mine. Later that night, we grilled him, and devoured him. And I became a spatchcocking devotee.
Spatchcocking is just a much more fun way to talk about butterflying a chicken. It’s not at all hard to do it yourself, especially if you watch this 3 minute YouTube video by the Virtual Weber Bullet. All you need is a supermarket chicken, a pair of kitchen sheers, and a boning knife. Once your bird is spatchcocked, you can grill it, but you can also cook it in the oven. We roasted this bird at 425 degrees for an hour, waited down by a pizza stone and a cast iron pan to keep it nice and flat.
Your chicken will cook faster and will be more juicy. And you’re guaranteed to impress your spouse when you plop this baby down on the table.
Lemon Rosemary Spatchcocked Chicken
3 or 4 pound supermarket chicken, spatchcocked by your butcher or yourself
1/2 cup of olive oil
In a large plastic ziplock bag, place the butterflied bird.
In a separate bowl, squeeze the juices of 3 lemons. Add olive oil, and 1/4 cup of chopped fresh rosemary. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Pour mixture into the ziplock bag. Seal. Massage the bird through the plastic to thoroughly coat it with the lemon mixture. Store in the fridge overnight to marinade.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place bird in a large Turkey pan. Cover with a couple of heavy pans, or a pizza stone and heavy pan.
Cook for 40 minutes covered. Then remove the weights and cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until the juices run clear when pricked with a fork.
Serve plain, or deglaze the pan with a little wine and water.