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Butchered Butterfly

Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,449
edited 10:25AM in EggHead Forum
Happy 4th!
I was chatting via email with Cat yesterday, and she was a big help is explaining how to butterfly a whole chicken. Well, last night, after working for 16 hours on the computer, I went up to butterfly Mr. Chicken. I figured it was simple enough....just cut with kitchen shears on each side of the backbone, remove backbone, and crack it so it lays flat. [p]Halfway through the first cut, I realized I was cutting the breast side of the bird instead of the backbone. I said a few words, and chucked the partially cut bird into the brine, and went to bed. This morning, I emailed Cat, and she said to go ahead and cut the whole bird in half, and cook the two halves.[p]That is the plan. Will rub with something good, and try Cat's plan of 90 minutes direct at 270. Last part of the cook skin down. Look forward to trying this different method of cooking a whole bird. Thanks Cathy.[p]Cheers
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  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Nature Boy,[p]Butterflied birds are great. You can stuff the bird under the skin (even into the legs!) for a real treat. This method avoids the possibility of undercooking the stuffing and bastes the meat at the same time.[p]Enjoy![p]Spin

  • Nature Boy,[p]A butterflied Chick is the first thing I did on my new BGE about two months ago. Since then I have done six or seven. It my favorite way to do a bird. Butterflied chicken has been my major success. Here is a Newbie's eggsperience with butterfly. Excuse me if I'm repeating what most of you I'm sure already know.[p]My local friendly butcher showed me how to butterfly a bird.
    Awkward at first but then very easy. I use a sharp filleting knife (thin and sharp blade) I tried poultry scissors and didn't have as easy a time due heavier bone.[p]I start by laying the whole bird on its back. Pull out its neck. With the point of the knife make a two or three inch slit on each side of the neck, about one inch apart. (the backbone with obviously be in the center) Turn bird over on its breast. Then simply along the two slits from front neck to the butt of bird, one on each side of the backbone. Cuts will be parallel to each other and about one inch apart. Only difficulty here is some of the ribs may be thicker and so a little harder to cut.[p]Then as Cat says, turn bird over with the breast facing up and hit it rather hard it the heel of your hand to break the breast bone. Presto - you have a butterflied chick.[p]Now you can gently pull the skin away from the meat, being careful not to puncture or tear it, and put in your favorite rub.[p]I then brush entire surface skin with olive oil. (front and back).[p]I like to cook it indirect (drip pan setting on fire-bricks) at about 270 dome, maybe basting it only one more time with olive oil at about the half way mark. I use apple chunks for a mild smoke. For a 3.5 lb bird, it takes about me 1 1/2 to two hours. Breast temp with a polder probe to about 165+.[p]
    I have tried putting about water in the drip pan for extra moisture. W/O water seems to be a tad drier. But I plan to check a few more times both ways to be sure.[p]

  • CatCat Posts: 556
    Anthony Up North,[p]Nice description! Almost as good as watching someone do it.[p]Putting water in the drip pan doesn't actually add significant moisture to the air. It does shield the bottom of the bird from direct heat - because the water can't go over 212 degrees. [p]A metal drip pan with no water simply passes the heat of the fire through to whatever's cooking (although it will mediate the effect of hot spots somewhat). That's probably why the birds you've tried that way seem a bit drier.[p]I butterflied my Thanksgiving turkey last year, which worked very well - although I had some worries that it might not fit on the Egg![p]Happy 4th -[p]Cathy
  • FritzFritz Posts: 179
    Nature Boy,[p]I have thought that butterflying in two halves would be the best way to do chicken in my NEW mini. I am interested to see what your results are.[p]Fritz
  • Cat,[p]Thanks for the compliment. [p]What you say about the water really makes sense. I guess my imagination is playing tricks on me. Nothing like good old fashioned logic and experience to make imagination conform to reality.[p]Your butterflied honey/mustard chicken is one of our favorites. I have to confess though, first time I tried it, I was so anxious to get it on the BGE, I forgot the olive oil in the recipe, and you know what happened, the honey carmelized and turned the chicken skin black. But the skinless chicken was good and devoured in no time.[p]Thanks again for your help[p]Happy Independence day to you.[p]Anthony

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,449
    It was excellent! I brined the bird in simple solution of salt/sugar/water. Then I mixed up a paste with fresh ginger, scallions, oyster sauce, soy sauce, honey, lots of cracked pepper, and sesame and peanut oil. Rubbed all under the skin and marinated for about 6 hours.[p]Cooked the halfs at 270-300 direct for about an hour skin up, then cooked skin down until breast read 165. The breast was done before the legs, but they seperated easily. 10 more minutes on the legs, and we were good to go.[p]Hope you had a great weekend.
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