"I'm going to spatchcock a chicken," announces Erin.
"Should I leave the room?" I respond.
Spatchcock. Great word. Never heard it before. Certainly not in mixed company. An effortless internet search delivers endless results. I haven't been this excited about a word since I learned how to pronounce "jicama".
So what is it? I'll let Erin field this one.
Turns out, it's not really that weird. I've seen it done before, I just didn't know what it was called. All you have to do, is hack out the spine of the bird with kitchen shears. Easy peasy. Ahem, the first time I ever watched my mom prepare thanksgiving, I was asked to do something that involved handling the raw bird. When I complained and made a grossed out sound, my mom's friend said "Oh, woman up!". So, once I accepted what "spatchcocking" meant, I womaned up, and hacked away.
Just turn the small chicken (3-4 lbs) breast side down, and cut along both sides of the spine with shears, removing it. If you want, save it with the other gross parts and make broth. Or do as I did, and tell your significant other to take it to the trash immediately. Then, flip the bird over and lay it out like an open book, breast side up. I seasoned mine with olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary and lemon thyme from the Sellwood Kitchen herb garden. Roast at 500 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the thickest part of the thigh registers 165. We put carrots and onions in the roasting pan with ours. You could do potatoes, or anything else that tickles your fancy.
This bird turned out to be super crispy on the outside, while juicy and flavorful on the inside. We served the chicken and veggies on a bed of quinoa, another first in the Sellwood Kitchen. Definitely a success!