Get your mind out of the gutter, this is not about having sex while playing badminton. No, this is about what to do when you want to roast a chicken but you can't use your oven. (Why can't you use your oven? Maybe there's something in it already, maybe it's too hot out, maybe you don't even have an oven. Whatever it is, I won't pry and neither should you.)
A trip to the subnaught libraries (They're wonderful, you should visit if you're ever in the area. Sadly, budget cuts have postponed the renovation of the west wing.) reveals that "spatchcock" is both a noun and a verb. The noun refers to a young chicken or other small game bird. The verb, to spatchcock, means to butterfly, usually a chicken. So, why spatchcock a chicken? A spatchcocked chicken (it's a fun word, isn't it?) will lay flat on a grill, where it will cook both quickly and evenly. In other words, juicy breasts.
So let's get on with it, shall we?
- Rinse off your bird, check the cavity for surprises, pat dry.
- Spatchcocking: Place the bird breast side down. Make two lengthwise cuts, one on either side of the backbone. Remove the backbone and reserve for delicious soup later in the week. Turn the bird over and press down flat. Done. (You can find more complicated spatchcocking procedures elsewhere on the internet, but this seemed to work.)
- In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, paprika, oregano, and brown sugar. The total amount should come to perhaps 3 tablespoons. Sprinkle about two thirds of this mixture all over the bird. If you have the time, you can let the seasoned bird brood in the fridge for a couple hours, but no worries either way.
- Place the bird on the grill. As you can see from the picture, I do this with indirect heat: charcoal on one side, bird on the other. Keep the grill covered during cooking.
- After about 30 minutes, add the remainder of the spice mixture and some freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- My chicken (a 2.5 pounder) was done after about 45 minutes. Yours may be different.
- Eat with your hands!
This does look delicious though!
And congratulations on successfully answering my tricky anti-spam question, you're the first one to try it.
Matt: I look forward to seeing your results.