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How to Make a Limp Chicken

You!   In the back of the class… I hear you giggling...

You’re the same one that snickered when we made Spotted Dick… and Sticky Buns…


Not every thing that sounds dirty… is.
Spatchcocking is a dressing procedure that enables you to remove most of the structural bones in the body cavity of chicken or other fowl in order to maximize the heat-to-surface ratios. It’s particularly useful when grilling whole birds. Although, can be just as helpful when you want to reduce the overall cooking time and simplify carving of the breasts (heh..he he heh..breasts.)

What you will need…
1 – 3 to 4 Pound Hen (or fryer)
1 Boning Knife
1 Good Pair of Kitchen Shears
Cutting Board
4 Skewers
Compound Butter (See Recipe Below)
and – Plenty of Lemony Chicken Gravy (See Recipe Way Below)

1. Empty the carcass of the offal, neck, and extraneous fat, place back up on a cutting board
2. Feel along the back, and beginning with the neck opening, cut along each side of the backbone – from tip to tail.
3. Repeat the cut on the opposite side of the back ridge and remove the backbone 
(Retain the bone and meat)
4. Open the bird flat – cut side up, and feel along the cut for the ribcage. Slide your fingers under the bones and lift away from the bird.
5. With the shears, cut along the base of the ribs where they connect to the breast plate – Repeat for both sides.
6. With your fingers, slide along the cartilage and locate the triangular breast bone. With the boning knife, slide the blade along the bone and free it from the muscle. Lift and remove the bone.
7. Flip the bird over and flatten the bird against the cutting board.
8. With the shears, remove the upper cavity fat globule as well as the excess skin flaps at the tail.
 9. Get the skewers ready
10. With a skewer, poke holes through the skin – into the leg meat – on both leg / thigh areas
11. Beginning with the breasts (heh..he..he..heh), Slide your hand between the skin and the muscle. There will be a small membrane just inside the breast area – but your fingers should push through it easily without much pressure. Continue pushing under the skin, loosening all the way to the thigh and around the leg.
12. Divide the compound butter into 3 equal portions. Place 1/3 of the butter under the left breast skin. breast.
13. Using your hand, press along the surface of the carcass spreading the butter along as you go. Repeat for the right 
14. Flip the carcass over and liberally smear the remaining 1/3 of the butter on the underside.
Flip the bird one last time to skin up.. 
15. With the skewers, Press the skewer through the meat diagonally from leg to wing on both sides, and repeat on the upper side from wing to leg. (This crossing of the skewers will stabilize the chicken and make it easier to handle on a grill. IF you are just pan roasting the chicken, you can omit the skewers.)
16. Liberally salt the exposed skin of the carcass,  and with a toothpick, poke several places on the skin where you see thicker areas of fat located.
To Roast Your Prepared Hen
  • Preheat the oven to 375
  • Foil line a large roasting pan and spray with cooking spray
  • Roast the Hen for 45 minutes, or until the interior temperature reaches 170 degrees.
  • Remove from the oven, cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Lemon~Roasted Garlic Compound Butter
1/2 of a Preserved Lemon – Pulp removed and retained, and rind chopped
3 Cloves of Roasted Garlic (I will roast a couple of fists and freeze them for later use. If you don’t happen to have it, use 1teaspoon of pureed fresh garlic)
1 Tablespoon Parsley – Chopped
1 Teaspoon Coarse Ground Black Pepper
3 Tablespoons Butter (or butter substitute)
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and set aside for use.

Lemony Chicken Gravy
Makes 2 Cups
3 Tablespoons of Reserved Rendered Chicken Fat
1/4 Cup AP Flour
Reserved offal, bones, fat and back from the butchered hen
Reserved Preserved Lemon Pulp
1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Tumeric
1 Clove Garlic
1 Stalk of Celery
1 Teaspoon Chopped Parsley
3 Cups Water
1 Large Sauce Pan
Immersion Blender
  • On high heat, bring the sauce pan with water to a boil.
  • Add the scraps from butchering and the organs
  • Add the preserved lemon pulp, garlic, and spices and boil for 45 minutes
  • Remove the bones and back, pick the meat and return the meat to the pot
  • With the immersion blender, puree all the contents of the pot
  • Pass the liquid through a strainer and retain the liquid
  • Add the 3 tablespoons of chicken fat to the sauce pan and heat until bubbling
  • Add the flour and stir quickly to form a paste
  • Add the retained liquid back to the pot and bring to a boil
  • When the sauce thickens, remove from the heat and add the parsley
  • Serve with the Roast Chicken.