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346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is one of my all time favorite recipes. It does have many steps, but oh dear Lord is it worth it!

1 whole roaster, 3-5lbs, or 2 small cornish hens
salt to taste
5 tbls butter
4 fresh sprigs of rosemary, about 4inches long each
1 tbls whole dried peppercorns
1/4 c. maple syrup
3/4 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar

Spatchcock is essentially "butterflying" a bird for cooking. This allows you to cook a whole bird in a skillet or on the grill, since it is flattened and will cook more evenly.
Lay the bird down with the butt facing you and using kitchen shears (and maybe a serrated knife) you cut along both sides of the backbone, completely removing it from the bird.
You flip the chicken over, flatten it, tuck the wingtips underneath and tie the legs together for stability.
Pictures of this are in the photo album linked at the bottom of the post.

Salt the chicken on both sides, lightly to taste.
Heat 3tbls of the butter in a large, heavy skillet until the foam subsides.
Break up one sprig of rosemary and toss it in the skillet and put the chicken in breast side down.
Place a piece of foil on top of the bird and place a second skillet or large pan on top of the chicken. Weight down the second skillet with cans or jars, so that you are evenly squishing the chicken.
Cook for 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat, the chicken skin will begin to brown and stick.
Flip the chicken over, using a spatula to pry up most of the skin, add in a fresh rosemary sprig and put the chicken in backside down, replace the foil on top and the second pan to flatten and cook for 15 to 20 minutes more, or until juices run clear. If your pan begins overheating and you're burning rather than just browning the bird, you may have to flip the chicken more than once. You do want it crisped, but not burned.

While cooking the bird, toast the whole peppercorns in a medium pan, do not use a teflon coated pan. Just toss them in a the pan, dry, and heat on low for about 5 minutes, until they become very aromatic and begin to "pop".
Remove the pan from heat and using the bottom of a glass or whatever is handy, crush the peppercorns. The more you crush, the more pepper spice the dish will have.
Add in the maple syrup, the chicken broth and 1 rosemary sprig and put on low heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Once the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a plate and cover and keep it warm.
Deglaze the chicken skillet with the cider vinegar, scraping up all those tasty bits, then reduce the vinegar by half (generally takes about 10 minutes of boiling.)
Stir in the maple-peppercorn sauce mixture, remaining butter, the last sprig of rosemary, and any drippings that may have gathered on the plate with the chicken. Simmer and stir for 2-3 minutes until the butter is melted and the mix is well combined.
Run the sauce through a sieve or cheesecloth if you prefer, to remove the larger peppercorns and rosemary twigs, then pour over the chicken and serve.

Here's a link to a photo album with the steps pictured. You should get an arrow to click to move through the album.

974 Posts
Hmmm yummy

Not seen many Americans spatchcock chicken. We used to do it all the time, but we call them flatties. :grin:

Recipe sounds really good. Thanks

346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Heh, "flatties", I like that!

I found this recipe in a magazine somewhere about 9 years ago, and don't even remember what magazine now, and I just thought it was a nifty way to cook a bird. My husband and I grill whole chickens, and cornish hens, this way often.
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