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docsconz

Spatchcock

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I have seen the word "spatchcock" used in anumber of instances here on eGullet to describe a technique of cooking fowl, yet I could not find the term in The Professional Chef from the CIA and the definition in the 2nd edition of Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary calls it a noun and reads, "a fowl killed and immediately dress and broiled". So what do people actually mean when they are using the term here?

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Think it refers to the way a chicken is dressed--split up the back, often with the back removed--before it is cooked.

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To spatchcock a chicken means that you split it open for roasting or cooking on a spit. Normally this means cutting out the backbone and spreading it out flat. After cutting out the backbone one may also remove the breastbone. As an alternative, it is possible to spatchcock by splitting the breastbone in half and spread the chicken open the other way.

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Thanks. That is what I thought from the contexts of the posts I saw the word in, but wasn't sure.

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Spatchcock is a great way to grill small and medium-sized birds. It's also a way to freeze fresh, whole chicken without taking up much freezer space. By removing the backbone and breastbone, a whole chicken is as flat as a book (especially, if you cut slits into the tail into which you insert the drumsticks.

Another benefit of this butchering/prep technique, vs. whole bird, is that you're less likely to have an overcooked breast and undercooked thigh -- the bird is more nearly (though certainly not perfectly) uniformly dense and no part of the bird is closer to the eat source than any other part (a frequent problem when you leave the breast bone in).

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Well. I spatchcocked my squab and deboned them as well. I roasted them at 450 convection for about 7 minutes. The meat was nicely medium rare, but the skin could have been crisper. I should have taken your advice and pan-browned them first, sam, but I was lazy. I served them over risotto milanese with spinach sauteed in the squab pan-drippings around the edge of the plate. I grated parmigiano over them and poured a little Aceitai del cristo juniper balsamico tradizionale di Modena on top. They weren't bad, but would have been better had the skin been crisper. In addition the leg and wing meat was chewy. All in all, it was ok, but I have had better.

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:smile:

I had the same question myself when reading the perfect roast chicken thread. I was then determined that Google could find a picture for me. Sure enough about 30 minutes later on page 35 of the search, there she was!

I have yet to actually do it, but I sure plan to based on the flexibility it gives you.

Msk

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That is a good link, Msk. I missed the pictures when I found The Naked Whiz. Thanks for the result of your 30 minute search!

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Spatchcock means you know how to cook poultry.

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Spatchcock means you know how to cook poultry.

Alas, I think there's more to cooking good bird than that, Jinmyo. If spatchcocking were all it took, I'd be a past-master. :sad::wink:

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I spatchcocked allot of chickens this summer over the BBQ.

The definition of "spatchcock" some how was burnt into my mind as the smoke from grilling spatchcock chickens were flowing up, over, and around Nigella Lawson’s breasts as she was explaining how good the succulent juicy spatchcock chickens tasted as she was licking her lips. TV is a very good educational resource.

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...the smoke from grilling spatchcock chickens were flowing up, over, and around Nigella Lawson’s breasts as she was explaining how good the succulent juicy spatchcock chickens tasted...

So, no dark meat then in that recipe? :biggrin:

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So is there a difference between spatchcocking and butterflying? Other than the fact that "spatchcock" is more fun to say, that is.

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When something is butterflied, a piece of meat is cut in half almost all the way through and then spread out flat. It refers to taking a piece of meat, cutting into the meat and thereby spreading out that piece of meat over a larger area. Spatchcocking specifically refers to cutting through the backbone (or breastbone) of poultry and spreading the whole bird out flat. Since the meat itself is not opened up and spread out when a bird is spatchcocked, is is not butterflied.

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So it is spatchcocked shrimp/prawns if they are split shell on and butterflied is split sheel off?

As shrimps have neither back- nor breastbone, I don't believe they qualify for spatchcocking.

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Spatchshrimping then?

Also since most spatchcocked chickens are hens, I don't think that work is that accurate anyway.


Edited by Adam Balic (log)

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M. Kamman calls it "to frog a bird".

I remove the backbone, cut the wing off at the second joint, apply a dry rub for 48 hrs, insert 3 skewewrs (for ease of turning) and grill on MOM in my Webber - this makes wonderful chicken (even the supermarket variety)!

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