I’ve decided on single word resolutions for 2012–which beckons.
My first is SIMPLIFY!
Something simple–for New Year’s Eve perhaps…?
I’m spatchcock-crazy at the moment.
To spatchcock or spattlecock or butterfly is to remove the back and breastbones of a chicken (simply and effectively demonstrated in this video) or any other bird (I just watched someone spatchcock a turkey!) in order to open it up and flattened it out–as you might do a book. This allows the bird to cook more quickly and evenly.
Spatchcocking is an easy and oddly satisfying technique. All you need is a pair of poultry shears or strong scissors and the nerve to try it! (Or your friendly butcher might do it for you….)
Earlier this week I had two spatchcocked birds in the fridge–a chicken and a guinea fowl–and two recipes I wanted to try.
I took the guinea fowl out to make this dish–inspired by a recipe in The River Café Classic Italian Cookbook .
We ate it thinking “How good this spatchcocked guinea fowl tastes!“.
The next day I went to the fridge to get the chicken, to marinade it overnight for the other recipe–and found the guinea fowl!
We’d eaten the chicken thinking it was guinea fowl!
I put it down to Christmas fever.
Ideal for serving four people–the bird (whichever comes to hand!) divides easily into quarters thus dispensing with the need to carve.
You could use chicken or guinea fowl quarters instead.
3 tblsps olive oil
6 bay leaves
salt and pepper
set oven to 200C
While the oven is heating–
- Squeeze the juice from two lemon halves into a pan, halve them and leave the quartered lemon in the pan with the bay leaves.
- Rub the skin of the chicken with the two remaining lemon halves.
- Lower the spatchcocked chicken over the lemon halves and the bay.
- Season well and spoon the oil over the chicken.
- Add the other two lemon halves to the pan.
- Cook–covered–on a low flame for 30 minutes.
- Uncover, spoon over some of the juice and place in the upper part of the pre-heated oven.
- Cook on for 40 minutes–checking and basting a couple of times.