Spatchcock Chicken

Cut the cooking time in half and the chicken, too. Spatchcock is an old BBQ hack to make a chicken flat so it is easier to cook over the coals. It also cooks the chicken evenly and cuts the cooking time in half.

1 medium chicken
1 chicken stock pot
Xanthan gum

Heat oven to 425°F/220°C.

Prepare your area by putting a raw meat cutting board on a baking tray and locate a bag in which to put raw chicken scraps. Retrieve a sharp knife and kitchen scissors, if you have them.

Stand the chicken up with the tail and legs in the air. Grab the tail, and using a sturdy, sharp knife, cut down next to the tail through the backbone as far as you can on both sides of the tail. It will normally start cutting easily, and then you will hit some resistance. Put a bit more force on the knife, and it should go through the rest of the way down. When you approach the bottom of the chicken, you may hit some resistance, but you should be able to use the cutting board at that point. Pull the backbone out of the chicken.

Turn the chicken over, skin-side down, and cut through the white cartilage between the wings. Turn it over so the skin side is up and press down firmly on a cutting board, which should flatten the chicken out. Use the scissors to cut off the chicken wing tips and feet if they are attached.

Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting tray, skin-side up, and cook at for 45-50 minutes.

This is a good time to cut some vegetables for steaming. Make up the chicken stock. Start cooking the cauliflower for mash (see recipe).

The chicken is done when an instant thermometer reads an internal temperature of 160-165°F in the thickest part of the breast and 170-175°F in the thigh, not near the bone. Remove and rest for 10-15 minutes.

While the chicken is resting, make the gravy, steam the vegetables for 12 minutes, and make cauliflower mash.

For the gravy make up 2 cups (500 ml) of chicken stock in a large jug. Move the chicken from the roasting tray to a cutting board. Place the jug with stock in the sink and scrape all the chicken drippings from the roasting tray into the jug. Using the table at the front of the book, look up the amount of xanthan gum to add given the amount of liquid you have. Insert a stick blender into the bottom of the measuring jug. Using the low speed, carefully start to mix. Tilt the blender at a slight angle  to create a vortex and slowly tap the xanthan gum into the vortex. Mix for 30 seconds to a minute.

Serve with steamed vegetables and cauliflower mash (see recipe). If you are planning to make some of the other chicken recipes, then this is a good time to take the meat off the bone before refrigerating.

Buy in UK / Buy in USA


Here are the great recipes from
Leftovers By Design”
that use leftover spatchcock chicken …

  • Umami Bomb Quiche

    This quiche is chock full of umami. In order of increasing content: eggs, mushrooms, chicken, asparagus, onions, peas, and parmesan cheese. Add a little salt and pepper, then BOOM!

  • White Chicken Chili

    We used to visit a small shop in a strip mall that sold cooking ingredients, candy, and nuts. One of the items we used to buy was white chili mix that had a tiny bottle of Green Tabasco tied to it. This is my version of that wonderful spicy chili. I am not using the traditional green chiles because I find them too harsh, so I have gone for smoky, dried chipotle for that nice afterglow and a slight pink colour.

  • Chicken Stir Fry

    I think the choi family (bok and pak) are undervalued and misunderstood. It is two vegetables in one — like bamboo shoots, but not as crunchy, and like spinach, but not as slimy. The key is to cut it in half and cook the bottom and top at different times. Of course, anything is better with a handful of salted cashews, which is the bacon of the nut world.

  • Chicken Pie

    This is a quick win because all you have to do is cut the mushrooms and stir. Hopefully, you removed the dark meat from the bone when the chicken was warm. This recipe will take just about any cooked vegetable, so go ahead and experiment. Most of the leftovers are already spiced. The rosemary gives it a country pub feel.

  • Chicken Enchiladas

    When my daughter was growing up, she loved cheese and chicken but hated hot, spicy dishes. I learned to turn down the spice to a milder background flavour instead of in-your-face flamethrower. The leftover dark meat from the thigh and leg works well with the beans. I have been known to eat the whole dish, but if you serve it with sides, it will provide a meal for two.

  • Chicken Cacciatore

    Chicken cacciatore is the first recipe I ever cooked on a dinner date many, many years ago. It was high-tech for the time since I used an Amana Radarange microwave oven. This recipe is sized for a single serving, but it can easily be stretched to two with another chicken breast and a side salad.

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