Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How to Spatchcock a Chicken

Yeah, probably thinking the same thing I am... what a weird name... and if you are not already familiar with it, what is a spatchcock chicken?!
Said to have come from 18th century Ireland area, it is a combination of the words "dispatch" the "cock." A tradition of cutting out the backbone of the bird to create a flat easy to use bird. Chickens are roundish, hollow (when innards are removed) and harder to grill or smoke when they still in that cylindrical shape.  In fact, a spatchcocked chicken cooked traditionally in an oven usually takes 15 minutes less to cook through than a whole chicken. 
It has a weird name but it is very easy to do.  Take your chicken, if you are smoking (especially for a competition) try and get a bird around 4lbs.  A little easier to manage.

Find the back bone (feel inside if you cant tell from the outside).  Using 
chicken shears, cut along both sides to fully remove it from rest of the bird.

Traditional spatchcock methods will not remove the breast bone or keel bone from the bird.  We like to because it is easier to manage the bird once cooked.  You don't have to cut through a bone to get a full half chicken.  We are bigger boys and like a whole half to ourselves (and competition BBQ sometimes requires a half chicken). Some will tell you that you might as well cut the chicken into two halves if you do it this way. We disagree. Looks beautiful and it's easy to manage. No special way to do it just dig around the bone and pull it out.  Careful not to cut all the way through chicken.
Turn bird over, push down, and flatten.  Here you have a spatchcocked chicken!

Throw it on the smoker!

A couple hours later you have the best full chicken of your life!
 OH and while your at it... throw a couple potatoes down in the smoker... they come out to die for.  Make a smoked mash potato if you want! AMAZING!

The Artisan Bros