If nothing gets your culinary juices flowing like a succulent, crispy-skinned chicken, piping hot and fresh out of the oven then this week’s Foodie Phrase is for you. While at first listen the word spatchcock might sound somewhat, well, offensive, it’s meaning is, I assure you, completely innocuous and oh sooooooo delicious!
Spatchcocking is the process of removing the backbone of a chicken so it can then be flattened out and cooked. Also known as butterflying, which is not nearly as much fun to say, spatchcocking is a relatively easy technique to perform. All you need is a set of very sharp kitchen shears (we positively love these from Cutco) and an uncooked bird. Simply place the bird breast side down on a cutting board and, using your shears, cut a parallel line up both sides of the bird’s backbone from the tail to the neck (see photo above) until you can separate it from the body – easy peasy! You can either reserve the backbone for making stock or toss it, depending on how you roll.
This technique is helpful for two main reasons: (1) a spatchcocked bird roasts much faster than a non-spatchcocked bird, and (2) a spatchcocked bird cooks more evenly as well, no more dried out breast meat waiting for the luscious dark meat to cook. A spatchcocked bird (can you tell I like using that word?) is ideal for roasting on a sheet pan but you can also cook it on the grill as well.
Once you’ve successfully spatchcocked your bird, feel free to season it any way your heart desires (i.e. lemon and thyme, buffalo sauce or tradish poultry seasoning). For a delightful “one-pan” meal, go ahead and add your favorite ingredients to the roasting pan with it. Mushrooms? Sure! Onions? Of course! Potatoes? Why the hell not! You can really make it your own using whatever leftover veggies you have in the fridge or flavor combination you’re craving. One of our favorites is our Burgundy-inspired Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions – total and complete YUM!
In addition to chicken, you can spatchcock virtually any type of poultry. If you’re feeling super adventurous, you could even spatchcock the Thanksgiving turkey! Something to think about. Ever since I discovered this technique, I almost never roast a chicken the traditional way unless I want to stuff it. And while I highly encourage you to try this technique at least once yourself, you can always ask your butcher to do it for you. Just be careful, he might think you’re propositioning him.
I hope you enjoy experimenting with the delicious technique and to check out more of our Foodie Phrases, please click here. Also, what’s YOUR favorite part of a roasted chicken – white meat, dark meat, crispy skin? Please let me know in the Comments section below!
Spring, glorious Spring! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and I’m super excited to share this delicious recipe with you that’s perfect for the season: Shredded Chicken & Brussels Sprouts Salad with Toasted Sesame Vinaigrette. This salad has oodles of delicious flavor and texture and is packed with healthy ingredients including organic chicken breast, Brussels sprouts, Pink Lady... Read More
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Looking for the perfect dish to savor this Cinco de Mayo? This Mexican-inspired Shredded Chicken, Black Bean, & Jalapeño Pizza is the perfect choice!
There is much more to this holiday, however, than chips and guacamole. Cinco de Mayo, or “Fifth of May,” is a Mexican holiday which commemorates May 5th, 1862, the date Mexican troops unexpectedly defeated the powerful French army outside the town of Puebla. Although this is an important date in Mexican culture that is recognized with great pride, Cinco de Mayo is actually not widely celebrated in Mexico. In fact, the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the world takes place in Los Angeles, California! Other cities known for their Cinco de Mayo celebrations are Denver, New York City and Houston.
This delicious dish has lots of great flavor and is quite versatile as well. Feel free to add any of your other favorite Mexican-inspired ingredients such as cilantro or avocado and you can also prepare it for the vegetarian(s) in your life by simply omitting the chicken – it’s THAT easy. In case you are looking for the perfect cocktail to pair with this dish, the Watermelon Jalapeño Margarita with Smoked Salt is an excellent choice (click here for the drink recipe)!
Shredded Chicken, Black Bean & Jalapeño Pizza
Total prep & cooking time: 1 hour; Makes 4 servings
1/2 lb cooked chicken, shredded or coarsely chopped (from a rotisserie chicken, or baked chicken tenders)
1 cup canned black beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers (from a jar or feel free to roast them yourself)
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1 Tablespoon Chili powder
1 lb pizza dough (widely available at grocery store bakeries)
Cornmeal for dusting
Jarred jalapeño peppers (fresh ones would be too hot!)
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grapes tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup pitted, sliced black olives
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
Sour cream for serving
1. Set pizza stone on the bottom of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. In a food processor, combine the black beans, roasted red peppers, garlic glove, chili powder and puree until smooth. Season to taste with kosher salt.
2. Stretch the pizza dough to a 12-inch round and transfer to a cornmeal-dusted pizza peel. Spread the black bean puree on top of the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edge. Sprinkle with the chicken, cheese, jalapeños, tomatoes, black olives and scallion.
3. Slide the pizza onto the preheated stone and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the bottom is crisp and the cheese is bubbling. Transfer the pizza to a work surface and top with the lettuce and serve with the sour cream. Cut into 4-6 wedges and serve immediately.