I love a good free range, succulent, crispy chook. I don’t so much like the carving part so I’ve been doing some investigating *googling* and I’ve managed to teach myself how to debone a chicken. Why would I want to do that you ask? Well, the husband, every now and then, likes to display his sense of manhood at the head of the table by attempting to carve and serve…..because of this I have learnt 2 things. 1. I have a greater understanding of the term “hatchet job” 2. If you beautifully butterfly and debone a chicken BEFORE the cooking of the bird, only 4 swipes of the knife are required to get it onto your plate…no mess, no fuss, looks pretty, manhood in tact.
Here are the necessary steps….
1. Pat the bird dry with paper towel and place on a flat surface with the backbone facing up.
2. Using kitchen scissors (poultry shears) cut down each side of the backbone from the bottom to the top and remove.
3. Using a sharp knife, cut around the wish bone and remove.
……from here you have completed the butterfly part of the process…you can just stop here if you like, turn the bird over, place your open palms on top of the chicken and give it a good push to flatten it out. If you like a neat and tidy chook, keep on going….
4. Using the same sharp knife, slice around each ribcage (left and right) to separate the bones from the breast meat.
5. Slice underneath the soft breast bone. You should now be able to remove the whole ribcage and breast bone so that the only bones left in the bird are its leg and wing bones.
This recipe has a lovely moroccan flavour that pairs nicely with my rocket & pomegranate salad (it’s in the picture). You can find the recipe here. It can be very handy to have a chicken already prepped and ready to go if you’ve got guests coming over. The very act of butterflying and deboning the chicken makes the cooking time super fast….you could even pop it on the BBQ if you were that way inclined.
- Prep Time : 15 minutes
- Cook Time : 40 minutes
- Yield : 4
To butterfly the chicken first pat dry with paper towel and place on a flat surface with the backbone up. Using kitchen scissors (poultry shears) cut down each side of the backbone from top to bottom. Using a sharp knife, slice around the wishbone and remove it. At this point you can just turn the chicken over, place your open palms on top of the chicken and give it a good push to flatten it a little and you'll have a perfectly good butterflied chicken to continue the rest of the recipe with. However, I quite like to debone the chicken as well. It doesn't take much time or skill for that matter and makes the carving so much easier. First, take a sharp knife and slice around each ribcage (left and right) to separate the bones from the breast meat. Using the same sharp knife, slice underneath the soft breast bone. You should now be able to remove the whole ribcage and breast bone so that the only bones left in the bird are its leg and wing bones.
Preheat oven to 180°C.
In a small bowl, combine all the other ingredients. Using a pair of disposable gloves, rub the marinade into both sides of the bird. (I use the gloves because the turmeric stains my hands). Place the chicken in a baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and pop into the fridge for at least an hour to marinate....the longer the better.
Remove the chicken from the fridge and pop into the preheated oven for around 30-40 mins or until the juices run clear when you pierce the chicken with a fork.
Cut into 4 pieces and serve with a big salad, the recipe for the rocket and pomegranate salad pictured can be found here