Friday, November 27, 2009

A Spatchcocked Thanksgiving

VEGETARIANS - this may not be a blog you'll enjoy. Avert your eyes.

Spatchcock. It's a lovely word with a murky etymology. Jim and I were watching Food Network the night before Turkey Day and we saw Alton Brown prepare a Cornish game hen in a panini press. We had two game hens defrosting in the refrigerator and Jim decided that he would use this technique the following day on Thanksgiving dinner, using the grill, not a press. I am very impressed with his willingness to try this, but what the heck, with 5 pounds of stuffing, no one would go hungry if it didn't work out.

The method as demonstrated by Jim:

With the bird breast side down, remove the back bone with a sturdy pair of kitchen shears. If you don't have a pair of these, you should. Get thee to a cutlery shop.

Open the bird up, mash it down flat until you hear some bones break. Then, using a sharp knife, cut a smallish hole in the skin below the ribs. You'll be pushing the end of the leg through the hole, so make sure you've cut the hole in a place the leg can be pushed. Mock it up before cutting.

Turn him over and remove the distal end of the wing, as they tend to burn. You are done spatchcocking at this point.

Are they not lovely?

Jim rubbed them with olive oil, then sprinkled them with oregano, garlic pepper, and a pinch of salt.

After grilling you get this.

They tend to flatten out on the grill, and cook evenly. They were really really good. I think this may be our new go-to poultry dinner.

Yesterday's cooking lesson for me was to make sure that the two pans you want to put in the teeny tiny RV oven will actually fit in there, at the same time. We ended up at Safeway buying smaller disposable pans that would fit simultaneously. One gets used to having large ovens, until one doesn't!

Hope you and yours are having an excellent Black Friday. We are contemplating a new external hard drive, but I don't think we're ready to execute yet. I have GOT to start backing up more often.

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