Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Chicken Spatchcocked and Halved

Lots of people say that spatchcock is the superior way to cook whole chickens and turkeys, but as I have mentioned a few times on this blog, I've never really found spatchcocking to turn out as good as cooking the whole thing upright like beer can chicken.

However, as I wrote in More Chicken in the Vortex ... I mentioned:

"I did realize that I've never spatchcocked a chicken on my Weber. To be fair, I should probably give that a shot."

In case you don't know, spatchcocking a bird is basically cutting out the backbone of the bird so that the whole thing can be laid out flat. People who believe in this method say it helps cook more evenly.

It also theoretically will cook the bird faster.

It makes sense to me, and it has worked out fine for me. I just find the other way results in juicier more delicious chicken or turkey.

This past weekend I decided to try a spatchcock again ... with a slightly different twist.

I cut the backbone out and then cut through the breast so that I had two halves of the bird.

This is actually nice because it fits on the grill better and I can put the Vortex in the middle.

About half an hour into the cook, I turned the halves over for about 20 minutes or so.

Then, finished the pieces off "right-side up".

Getting close to dinner time, my internal temperature was still a bit low, so I actually placed the birds directly over the charcoal for maybe 10 minutes.

And ... honestly, the chicken came out just about perfect. Dinner was a bit late, so if (when) I do this again, I'll give myself more time.

I really thought the bird turned out great, and I honestly liked how the space on the grill opened up. I could probably do at least two birds on my kettle this way ... probably three on my bigger kettle.

Also, this gives me the option of moving the poultry onto direct heat in pieces if I need to speed things up like I did Sunday.

Another advantage is that it is easier to cut up the bird after its done.

So ... I do think I'll give this technique another try. I wouldn't be surprised if this becomes my go-to technique for cooking whole chickens.

I may even cook my Thanksgiving Turkey this way coming up. We'll see how brave I am this coming Thanksgiving.

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Go Blackhawks!

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