Want to cut the cook-time for a whole chicken in half? Spatchcock it! Paradise, PA-based chicken farmer Lizzie Boone of Myer Hill Chicken shows us how to employ this simple and awesome cooking technique.
It’s believed that the term “spatchcock” is derived from the phrase “dispatch the cock,” which is a kind of old-timey way to describe poultry that’s been split and grilled. And that’s basically what this method is: removing the chicken’s backbone and flattening it so that the whole bird can cook quickly and evenly, similar to how other larger cuts of meat can be butterflied. To the uninitiated, it might sound a bit daunting, but as Boone illustrates, it’s actually simple as can be. As far as equipment goes, you’ll need some sharp, strong kitchen shears and that’s about it!
Once the spine has been cut out of the bird and you’ve flattened it on your roasting dish, you can prepare it however you like before roasting. Salt, pepper and a fistful of local herbs are a must! You can tuck in some garlic cloves, wedges of lemon, and root veggies, like carrots, potatoes, turnips and celery root, around the bird, if you wish for a ready-made side dish.
A bit more about Lizzie Boone and Myer Hill Chicken:
Lizzie started working as an apprentice at Verdant View Farm in 2015, where she continues to work as a farmer today. Inspired by her work there, and deeply influenced by the writing and philosophy of poet, naturalist and farmer Wendell Berry, Boone began pasture-raising her own chickens under the name Myer Hill. As she mentions in her video, her first flock of chickens is sold out, with the next ready for sale this June. Of her work, Boone says,
As a farmer, I have spent more time raising food than preparing it, but that is slowly changing. The intricate relationships between the health of the environment, vegetation, livestock and humans have led me to biodynamic agriculture. I began Myer Hill to ethically raise and humanely prepare pastured chicken.
- Video: Elizabeth Boone