Considering "cornish game hens" this weekend

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ninjapoodles, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    OK, so they wouldn't be Cornish. And they wouldn't be game. And, well, they would also not be hens. But you know what I mean. We have always been fans of the small roasting birds. We were thinking of dispatching a couple of the young white rocks or Marans, spatchcocking them and cooking them on the grill. The Marans seem to be just about the right size, but we only have a handful of those, and I kind of want to let them keep growing, so it'll probably be the white rocks. I don't think there's enough to the Orpingtons yet.

    Or, we may wait another week. Has anyone butchered 6-8 wk. old standarbred roos? I realize that there won't be much there.
     
  2. GlacierNan

    GlacierNan Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2008
    Colorado
    I don't know any of the answers but I have another question for ya!

    What on earth is ?spatchcocking?
     
  3. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    Quote:Hee. Basically, just think of chicken halves, but still connected in the center. It's about my favorite way to have barbecued or grilled chicken. The easiest way is to just remove the backbone and "open" the bird up, and cook it lying flat. It's like butterflied chicken! [​IMG]

    The word apparently comes from shorthand for "dispatch the cock." Here's a really neat website that has several takes on the term and the process:
    Spatchcock

    The Boston Globe

    Cutting a chicken in half for broiling is almost as routine as chopping an onion. But keep the halves together in that same flattened position, and it looks as if you've done something complicated to the little bird.

    Think of it as butterflying the chicken. The real term is to "spatchcock." Alan Davidson explains in The Oxford Companion to Food: "The theory is that the word is an abbreviation of 'dispatch the cock,' a phrase used to indicate a summary way of grilling a bird after splitting it open down the back and spreading the two halves out flat." Davidson speculates that spatchcocked birds originated in Ireland. He has noticed them in Irish cookbooks that date to the 18th century.

    Besides making an intriguing presentation and being simple to carve, a spatchcocked bird requires less time in the oven. That means that the breast meat won't be dry. It's also easy to make a pocket between the skin and breast meat to stuff the bird with a protective layer of vegetables and seasonings.

    In Simple French Food, the late Richard Olney wrote about stuffing a flattened chicken with grated zucchini mixed with ricotta and Parmesan cheeses. Olney prepared the recipe on his book-promotion tour in the early 1970s, and for a while it became popular among cooks.

    We still see spatchcocked chicken on menus around town, sometimes just asimple flattened bird with a mixture of herbs tucked underneath the skin. It always feels new.​
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2008
  4. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    Apr 6, 2007
    Iceland
    I've culled a few young EE mutt cockerals that were 6 weeks old. We used
    them for soup but if properly prepared would have made nice mini broilers.
    Compared to a meat bird they had small breasts but there was more meat
    than I expected. I'm guessing they were 1.5 - 2 lbs after processing.

    I have 2 silkie mutt cockerals I'm raising with my batch of Red Bros (Freedom
    Rangers). I'm fattening them up on broiler feed and am hoping to make
    nice little broilers out of one and giving the other to a Chinese friend of my
    Dad's.

    I'm sorta wondering what spatchcocking means too.
     
  5. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    I'm telling you, both the Marans and the White Rocks, at 6 weeks, are a really nice size. Part of it is that I'm kind of anxious to get rid of some roosters. Space is at a premium now that the youngest hatch is outside.

    On a tangent...before we process all of the White Rock roos: Would crossing a WR roo on an Orp or Marans (I have some strictly utility cuckoo pullets) produce a better meat bird than either purebred parent?

    I think we're definitely going to do some Marans/Orpington crosses next year strictly for utility purposes, eggs and meat.

    (Did you see the post explaining "spatchcock" above?)
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2008
  6. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    Apr 6, 2007
    Iceland
    Quote:Yes I caught the spatchcock explanation. That's a common way to prepare chicken
    in many parts of the world. My wife has a Russian coworker who keeps asking for
    small roos so she can do that in a pan. They flatten it and put weight on it. We gave
    her one birds and now she wants more.


    If you can take a few pics and possibly weigh the processed birds it would make
    a great reference here. I'm curious how they turn out.

    Enjoy the meal. [​IMG]
     
  7. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    Will do! We're studying up tonight. [​IMG]
     

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