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Has Anyone Tried Spatchcocked Chicken?

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Post Tue Jan 13, 2004 11:49 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
I'll start this one off by saying - - - I don't know what went wrong??? :(

This was the toughest chicken I've EVER had. I prepared this according to the recipe (HTG pg 220):

marinated the chicken
heated the grill to medium
placed the chicked skin-side down
cooked 15 minutes with lid closed (HTG says 12-15 for each side)
turned chicken, added reserved marinade, and grilled another 15 minutes

HTG said the chicken should be 180 degrees and it was 110. The outside was cooked to perfection. I had to reduce heat and cook for another 45 minutes to get 180. The chicken had a great flavor but was so tough it didn't chew well. The dog is eating a half chicken today!

What did I miss?
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Post Tue Jan 13, 2004 12:25 pm
hickory pete well done
well done

Posts: 403
Bob,

Just my thoughts...Sounds as if the outside of the chicken cooked too rapidly. Perhaps there were flare-ups that were not obvious. Did you have an area on the grill that was away from the fire? After reading Steve's recipe, he notes that it is necessary to move the bird to dodge the flames. Other than that, it seems like everything was done correctly.

Pete

Post Tue Jan 13, 2004 1:20 pm
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Sounds like you did everything right to me too. Is it possible you just got a bad/old bird?
I'm stumped.
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Post Tue Jan 13, 2004 1:20 pm
PaulP well done
well done

Posts: 681
Location: Beautiful St. Mary's County, Maryland
I realize that this is not part of Steve's recipe, but I always brine my chickens before cooking. The only exception is beer-can chicken, which doesn't need it. Brining prevents the meat from drying out.

1 1/4 hours is a very long time to cook a 3 - 4 lb. frier. Mine usually take ~ 45 miins whole, and a spatchcocked bird should cook faster. What was the temperature of your grill? I suspect a too low temperature, resulting in an extended cook, which allowed the bird to dry out.

FWIW, I cook chicken to 175 degrees thigh temperature.

PaulP
PaulP
If you don't like the food, have more wine

Post Tue Jan 13, 2004 3:11 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
There are a lot of good ideas. Since the lid was closed and vents were half open, there could have been flare-ups but I didn’t expect any. The outside of the bird was completely cooked and even a little on the dark side, so for the given time the temps seemed to be about right. Any hotter and it would have charred. This is the first bird since cooking from Steven’s books that I haven’t brined and probably should have. The meat was still quite juicy though. Each time we took the temp (3 times) it rendered much juice. The final product was moist but very tough. A guy at work suggested that it could have been a bird that got too much exercise and was therefore tough like a bird from the wild. Getting too hot too fast may be a plausible theory. It still baffles me because I’ve never had a tough chicken like that.
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Post Tue Jan 13, 2004 3:34 pm
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
For the benifit of yourself and the rest of us, try it again.
If it happens again then its in the process, if not chalk it up to a fluke.
I'm betting on fluke.
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Post Wed Jan 14, 2004 12:24 am
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
I have had similar results with some chicken breasts. When I asked my butcher he said it was an "over exercised" chicken and that will make the meat tougher. It sounded good to me and he gave me replacements and I had no problem.

Post Wed Jan 14, 2004 11:46 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
We might give this another try. It probably won't be real soon though. I need to get a few successes under my belt before I crawl out on that limb again.

We know what Spatchcocked Chicken tastes like and it was good. Everyone liked the flavor. I'm just glad we didn't have company!!! So sometime after I get my BBQ legs back and some poultry shears, I'll give it another try.
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Post Thu Jan 15, 2004 10:04 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
The wife was talking amongst the women of her family and they figure that it was an old laying hen that you're supposed to boil for soups or dumplings because they are so tough. She said that she'll be buying "fryers" from now on!
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Re

Post Thu Jan 15, 2004 4:49 pm
Hawk rare
rare

Posts: 12
I make this type of chicken all the time and It comes out good all the time. I never close the lid though because I am having problems with my coal, (see other thread).

Anyways I always tend to it and move it away from the flare up as I am grilling it. It usually takes longer than the time given for me but I suspect that is because I don't close the lid.

I cook it with the inards (boneside, is inards a word)of the chicken down on the flame first. Pollo Loco is famous for this type of chicken and they don't close any lids.

Post Fri Jan 16, 2004 1:11 am
MaxDog rare
rare

Posts: 20
Location: Springfield, IL
never spatchcocked chicken, but game hens (with the orange garlic marinade from SR&M-- what my Russian wife calls ciplata tabaka). Love that recipe -- and the birds come off just perfect. I've always done 'em skin side down first, then flip 'em. Top down. Medium heat. Direct grilling. Yummy
How lovely it is to do nothing and then rest afterwards

Post Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Call me brave (or stupid) but we're going to have spatchcocked for dinner tonight. This time I'm doin' four game hens. Wish me luck. :)
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Post Mon Jan 26, 2004 3:03 pm
hickory pete well done
well done

Posts: 403
Good luck Bob...I'll be watching to read about how great your dinner turned out.

Pete

Post Mon Jan 26, 2004 3:24 pm
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Bob-BQN wrote:
Call me brave (or stupid)


It takes a balance of both to make great BBQ!

Good Luck, I'm sure that everything will turn out perfectly this time!
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Post Mon Jan 26, 2004 4:26 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3049
Location: Atlanta-GA
It could also be the distance between the coals and the chicken. Try to raise your chicken few inches above the coals. That gives the chicken more chance to cook evenly and at slower pace.
Good luck.

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