By: Blonde Two
Spatchcock is such a great word (unless you are a chicken). It is well balanced, makes a great pseudo expletive and once you have said it 3 times you won’t be able to stop… go on I dare you.
For those of you who don’t know (and my sincere apologies here to our vegetarian, vegan and sensitive readers) spatchcocking a chicken involves chopping it down the middle and spreading it out in a flattish manner to cook.
Etymologists appear to be a bit confused about the origins of ‘spatchcock’ (go on, shout it out). Some say that it is related to the similar but more slimy ‘spitchcock’ which is an eel treated in the same aggressive manner (even in New Zealand where the creeks are full of eels I won’t be trying that). Others that ‘spatchcock’ is a word of Irish root that may (or may not) be a combination of ‘dispatch’ and ‘cook’.
I got stuck in such a rut saying the ‘s’ word over and over the other day that I decided the only way to get it out of my system was to actually do the deed myself. I didn’t go out and kill a fresh chicken because I didn’t think Mr B2 would like me to use his Grandfors Small Forest axe for such bloody purpose (also because I didn’t know where to find a live chicken). I did however do the splitting and squashing bit (not the most pleasant of tasks) as well as some carefully crafted (whatever I had in the fridge) marinating.
We cooked our spatchcocked chicken over the fire in the garden that evening inside one of those cages with a handle (not that it was going to run away). We used charcoal as well as wood, it took about an hour and we had to make the underside the sacrificial burnt area. Once it was done though the chicken was delicious, tender and smoky tasting. We managed to stop ourselves eating it all, which was just as well because it tasted even better cold the next day.