more grilling! because, why not? the weather has been great here. and by "great" i mean that i am wearing a short-sleeved shirt to work today with some flip flops. mental note to get myself a pedicure this weekend, seeing as all the un-love i've been doing to my feet all winter by bundling them up in socks and heavy shoes have made said feet look pretty chickeny.
speaking of chicken! and this one is for Mrs. B: ye ol' Spatchcocked Chicken.
hee. sorry. remember the fifth grade humor thing i told you about? well yeah. i said "spatchcocked". heh. i digress.
spatch·cock (spăch'kŏk) pronunciation
A dressed and split chicken for roasting or broiling on a spit.
i first heard the term "spatchcocked" (hee) while watching nigella lawson on the style channel years ago (the food network has recently been airing all her older shows, which is great because now the rest of america can jump on the I Love Nigella bandwagon that i've been hollering about since 2001). it seemed simple and intriguing, so we tried it at home and instantly loved it. to be honest, i love all grilled food. but i think the most pleasurable thing about this chicken is that it involves some medieval torture. there is something very satisfying, very gratifying about eating this after you've been mandhandling it a bit. you basically cut the chicken up the back, remove the backbone, and butterfly it out (meaning, lean with all your great might on that thing and make it flat. and yes, you will hear crackage of bones. see what i mean about medieval torture?). then you shove it into a ziplock bag with the marinade i mentioned the other day (lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper) for a few hours before grilling.
sometimes it makes life easier to plop a tin foil covered brick on top or even a cast iron skillet (this ensures a quicker cook time). these will take a while, so sit back and do other things, like entertain your neighbors (hi Mr and Mrs B!), and start working on some side dishes.
side dish number one is bobby flay's warm potato salad. what's appealing about this recipe is the use of hot bacon dressing. oh, and caramelized onions. two of my favorite things! seriously, there is nothing better than caramelized onions. i could eat those straight from the pan with the heel of a loaf of french bread and be happy as a clam. actually, i have done this before. heh. we decided to make two starches, which is probably a big fat nutrition and culinary no-no, but who cares? are you the food police?
starch number 2 is a simple risotto, which Mrs B and i stood patiently by the stove and made. this was the first time i had ever made risotto, and i can't believe how easy it is to make. i can't believe i'd never made risotto before. what exactly is my problem? as long as you dont go in the other room and start vacuuming, your risotto will turn out just fine. i will always and forever associate risotto with that episode of hell's kitchen (first season) when gordon ramsey yells at poor dewberry, "why are you putting fish stock in the fucking risotto?". every time one of us mentions risotto, the other will bleet out at top voice, "WHY ARE YOU PUTTING FISH STOCK IN THE FUCKING RISOTTO?", and we crack up. yes, we are very easily amused (i'm hanging my head in shame). the risotto was finished off with some pats of butter and a lot of freshly grated parmesan cheese, which resulted in a very unctuous dish.
the chicken came off the grill and rested a bit before further dismembering into large pieces. Mrs B tells me that the blackened areas will cause cancer if eaten, since the black is superchar from the grill, but we all happily ate it anyway. and it was good. spatchcocked chicken turns out to be very juicy every time we make it. i'm not sure if that's the marinade at work, or the method of cooking which helps it stay that moist. it was well-received all around, along with the cheesy risotto and warm potato salad.
Mrs P tried to pull off that "i'm a starving orphan in china please feed me!" look, and even though i know what she's up to, i still shower her with love. and a small piece of chicken. because, who can resist that face?