Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chicken By The Book >The Spachcocked Clucker

I guess the fondness for Roast Chicken came from my Granny, that was her favorite meal and I came to love it as well. Moist, sweet and succulent and able to take on the complexities of a multitude of flavors. It can be a fancy dinner or served cold at a picnic. Yet this simple to prepare dish  can scare the "bejeebers" out of  some cooks.Whether fear of over cooking to end up with a tough  and dry bird or one that is under cooked on the inside and burnt on the outside can make some avoid it altogether. I am going to attempt to solve these problems with a few simple techniques.
Most problems have to do with the density of the different parts of the bird, some parts get more heat than others and cook faster. The result is some parts and done and some are under cooked. If we can increase the surface area exposed to the heat and get the chicken into a "user friendly" package it will cook more evenly.
The easiest way to do this is to "Spatchcock" the bird ; remove the back bone and open it up like a book so it lays flat.
This is especially useful if you want to grill,smoke, or BBQ your bird. Seasoned with "Bludawgs Poultry Powder" this particular bird was destined for the smoker until the thunder started to boom and the rain began to fall as I was heading out to build the fire. So a trip to the oven was in order. As referenced by the thermometer in the above picture this only took 1 hour util it was completely cooked. .  Enjoy!

Prep Time: 20 min                         Cook Time:1 hr apox. plus 15 min rest

1 4-5 lb chicken
Worcestershire sauce
*Bludawgs Poultry Powder (recipe follows)

Tools: Cutting Board, Kitchen Shears, Knives, **Sanitizing solution for counters Broiler pan, Aluminum Foil, Meat thermometer, Wax paper, Paper Towels


Peheat oven to 375 º F. Line the bottom of the broiler pan with aluminum foil for ease of cleanup, set aside.
Prepare your work area, remove everything that can be splashed with blood and lay down some wax paper and place your cutting board on it.
Remove the giblets from the cavity and rinse your bird under cold running water inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels and transfer to cutting board, breast side down.
This next step I will assume no liability for for any self injury!!! IF you are confident in your "Knife Skills" and you have a sharp knife feel free to use it, If your Knives are dull or you have poor "Knife Skills" I recommend using the kitchen or poultry shears!!

 Starting at the neck make an incision down each side of the spine along the entire body .Then cut through the ribs where they join the spine.
Remove the spine and save for some homemade stock. Trim away any excess fat from the from the carcass and discard.

 Turn your bird over (breast up) with the heal of your hand placed at the top of breast press down hard to break the breast bone. Lay the wing tip on the breast and with a paring knife or kitchen shears  make a small incision through the skin of the breast at the point where the wing tip joint falls on the breast and insert the wing tip into the incision repeat for the other wing.  

Blot the skin side dry with some paper towels and place skin side down on the broiler pan grate blot the inside dry as well. Wet down the inside with the Worcestershire an season VERY GENEROUSLY with BluDawgs Poultry Powder, Turn the bird over and repeat for the skin side, first the Worcestershire and the Poultry Powder.

Cook on the center rack in the oven for 1 hr or the internal temp on the meaty part of the thigh reaches 185 º F. Remove from oven and tent loosely with Aluminum foil for at least 15 min and allow to rest prior to carving.

* BluDawg's Poultry Powder

3 tbl season salt (Fiesta brand)
1tsp black pepper
1tsp dry sage
1tsp white sugar
optional 1/4tsp ancho chili powder or cayenne

mix all ingredients together  and apply liberally to chicken prior to grilling or roasting.

** Sanitation solution for disinfecting counters and sinks
1tb Chlorine bleach mixed in 32 oz water

 Pour into a spray bottle and spry all counters and sinks to sterilize and disinfect after working with any raw meat.

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