Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Barbecue 101: How to Butterfly a Chicken

Let me just say that I love Barbecue 101 day here at the blog. There is so much to cover, and my only challenge is picking which entry to do each week. I was going to discuss burnt ends today, since we did how to carve a brisket last week, but I've come down with a wretched cold and must fall back on photos I already have. I took these photos last year while writing She-Smoke to give the illustrator reference. I sent over 100 reference photos and think Tim McGrath did a bang-up job in illustrating the book. This is one of three methods of cutting up a whole chicken I discuss in the book. The book goes into slightly more detail, but here are the key points:

How to Butterfly a Chicken
I love the presentation of a whole butterflied chicken. It also speeds up the cooking time. Use this method for either barbecue smoked chicken, or grilled chicken.

1). Lay chicken breast side down. Cut along along one side of the backbone.
2) When you hit the hip bone, score the skin and meat away from the back with the tip of your knife to expose the hip joint. Cut through the joint.
3) When you cut through, be careful not to cut all the way to the other side, thereby nicking the breast meat.
4) Open up the cavity. Cut the backbone out from the other side, keeping the knife against the edge to avoid cuting out any flesh.
5) Score the breastbone and cartilage with your knife. Lay knife down. With both thumbs just above the breast bone, press down to pop it out. Dig out the breastbone and cartilage.

6) You now have a whole flat butterflied bird. Later this week (Thursday's Weekend Warrior Recipe) we will smoke a butterflied chicken.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. There is a natural emnity between me and raw meat (cooked is fine, I'm a total carnivore). This just might help, complete with pictoral! Thanks, Jules. ;)