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Spatchcock, Baby, Spatchcock!

Nancy Leson
Roast chicken ala Nancy

During  our recent successfully concluded (thank you very much!) spring fund drive, Nancy Lesonand I asked listeners for Food for Thought topics.  First one over the e-transom came from Tom who wanted to know if we preferred to roast our chickens whole or spatchcocked.

I said "spatchcocked!"  I love to say that word.  Give it a try and you will, too.  What does spatchcock mean?  Probably not what you think.

To spatchcock  a chicken, just clip out the backbone, break the breastbone and press the bird down flat for faster, more even roasting.   Here's a step-by-step guide.  Nance likes her enamel pot, I prefer a plain cast iron skillet.  From there, follow whatever roasting recipe you like.

To promote a crisp skin, rub the bird with a 3-to-1  mix of salt and baking powder the day before and leave uncovered in the fridge to dry out the skin.  You can take it even further just before oven time by blasting the bird with a hair dryer as the New Yorker's Helen Rosner suggests.  

Weirdly, neither of our spouses will eat chicken skin no matter how delectably crisp.  Fine, more for me.  I wish mad scientists on remote island lah-BORE-atories would breed a chicken that's all skin.  

Keep watching this space. Nancy has joined the legions of Instant Pot cultists.  I wasn't sure I really wanted R2D2 on my kitchen counter so she brought the thing over to convince me and we cooked theInstant Pot Butter Chicken recipe.  A full report in next week's FfT.

"Before I was in this business I was in the chicken business." – Chubby Checker

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.