Sunday, December 4, 2011

Xan: Experiments with Chicken

Q: If a spineless person is a chicken, what do you call a spineless chicken?
A: Dinner for four.

I've butterflied quite a few chickens lately (cutting out the backbone with kitchen shears, squashing flat).  If you stick the legs out toward the edge of the roasting pan where it's hotter, they will cook in about the same time as the white meat.  Seems to work.  This guy's name is Colin:

A little olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme.

Easily cut into serving pieces.
Seen here with some focaccia bread from Cook's Illustrated's The New Best Recipes which, frankly, didn't come out well enough to justify the effort:

Butterflying has been my go-to method for roasting chicken. But yesterday I tried something different.  I ran into this awesome video for how to debone a chicken (while leaving it all in one piece) and I had to try it:

By the way, I may have to make an exception to my anti-French bias for Jacques Pepin, because this is just too awesome.  He certainly makes it look easy, huh?  Careful, the wishbone is very pwinted!

Somehow, some way, I will master this skill.  I will probably never be able to do this in a minute, but if I could get under 5 that would be pretty awesome.  My first attempt took closer to half an hour, of course...but I did it! (and obviously that's a lot of figuring-it-out time).  Here's my boneless chicken in its birthday suit tuxedo...I think we should name him Bones:

"Bones?  Whaddayamean, Bones?!? Dammit Jim, I'm a chicken, not a doctor!" 
Now, we also wanted to try this farro stuff that Anne got us the other day.  "What is this farro stuff, anyway?" we wondered.  Well, when life gives you stuff, make stuffing-ade!  Or at least stuffing.

So with Bones in hand, I created an impromptu stuffing: a mixture of farro, diced fire roasted tomatoes, onions, and a small army of spices in approximately (and I stress approximately) the ratios of ras el hanout.  And smoked paprika.  Yes.  Lots of smoked paprika.

I then rolled Bones up and tied everything together with some string all fancy-like:

And here are the results!
"lollipops," yum

"Looking tanned, Bones!"

Hmm, Bones is missing something besides his bones. Quick, what do you call a leg that runs away?

Leg of lam!
Farro=good!  Needless to say, I was pretty stuffed after stuffing myself with chicken stuffed with stuffing with all the stuff in it.  And Catherine liked it too, because she's knife-impaired and bones trouble her.

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