A Boy, His Grill, and a Spatchcocked Chicken

April 12, 2010

Over the past few months I’ve regularly documented all of the things I am thrilled to have returned to since our move back to the States. In fact, I wouldn’t blame you for thinking me annoying because I tend to express my excitement with an over abundance of irritating happiness.

There was the real winter with snow which necessitated the wearing of boots not just for fashion, but for functionality. A full size oven with a temperature setting that goes low enough to prevent burning all my baked goods to a crisp. A washer and dryer that take fewer than 90 minutes for each cycle. My KitchenAid mixer with all its powerful capabilities.

Ahhh, I smile just thinking about it all.

Despite my glowing excitement, I was getting a little bit worried that my husband hadn’t yet experienced such bliss. Sure, he had some of his favorite electronics back, and we now have a nice size garage with a yard to tend to, but something was missing.

Over Easter weekend I learned what it was. This:

Yes, a grill. As much as we enjoyed the food and culture of the Brazilian barbeque, let’s just say, there is no place like home. We talked about it often during our time abroad — grilling different kinds of meats from chicken to pork tenderloin, burgers, hot dogs and even fruits and vegetables; the array of side dishes, and sitting outside all afternoon with a beer in hand.

He had his heart set on a Big Green Egg for a long time, even before we moved back to the US. However, after some research he learned that there are the same style of grills out there (a ceramic pod grill that cooks by charcoal) without the same price tag.

We couldn’t find any sources around here, but some stores in our hometown occasionally carried them. When he learned that two had come in the day we got to Indiana for our Easter visit, off he went with my Dad to grab one before it was gone.

He’s been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to get cooking so this weekend we decided to break out the new grill and see what this baby can do.

First we tried chicken. Until this weekend I had seen the process of spatchcocking a chicken on the web and on tv, but had no idea that “spatchcocking” was the appropriate term. I gave it a try last night. To be honest, I did get a flat chicken out of the process which was the goal, but I really have no idea if I did it exactly as it should be done. In fact, I already discovered a step I accidentally skipped. Shhhh! I’m not telling.

Therefore, you really shouldn’t listen to me about how to spatchcock a chicken when there are much more knowledgeable people out there to tell you. Check out A Good Appetite or this YouTube video for some help.

I can, however, tell you the rub I used on the bird which turned out nicely. My husband wanted something a little more spicy/Cajun in nature since I typically do Italian-style herb rubs. I coated the chicken with the spices below and then rubbed it generously with olive oil.

First Chicken of the Season Spicy Rub

1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 ½ tsp sea salt
¾ tsp ground black pepper

Combine in a small dish and mix with your fingers to crust of the red pepper with the other spices. Rub over the chicken including under the skin.

After an hour on the grill, the chicken was perfect. Nice and juice with a crispy skin just as was predicted by all the recipes I’d read prior to our attempt. There will be lots of grilled chicken in our near future, especially once Pike Valley has some available again later in the month. They should process 32,000 chickens this year. Not bad for a farm using humane, sustainable practices. The word is really getting out about them.

In addition to the chicken we decided to grill up some burgers for later in the week, as well as some asparagus as a side for our chicken. Grilled asparagus is about the easiest thing you can cook on a grill. I drizzled it with olive oil and sprinkled on some of the herb seasoning I told you about a few days ago. About five to eight minutes on the grill and it’s all done.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you more about the burgers and a new pasta salad I tried out.

Have the grill out yet? What’s on the menu?

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  • kat April 12, 2010 at 7:13 am

    Matt would love that chicken rub too & we are coveting that grill!

  • Amy April 12, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Mmm sounds and looks delish, Lori! It’s been a while..I’m glad to see that all is well 🙂

  • Velva April 12, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Cheers to be backing home and to your new Green Egg.

    In teh recent past, my husband made a “spatchcocked” chciken. I had no idea, that was what it was called until Chris from Nibble me this told me.

    Looking forward to your new posts!

  • 5 Star Foodie April 12, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    This chicken on a grill sounds excellent! Awesome flavors!

  • Emily (A Nutritionist Eats) April 12, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Looks wonderful! I just grilled some asparagus last weekend!My favorite! (I have never heard of this grill but am going to send it to my BF, I’m sure he wants it, ha!)

  • gastroanthropologist April 12, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    I so so so miss my Kitchen Aid. And having a washing machine and a separate dryer is like the most amazing luxury that I miss. My apartment has this washer/dryer in one thing that does neither job very well.

    And an outdoor grill… miss that so much and all that it means – Good food and great times!

  • Juliana April 12, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Wow, sounds and looks yummie! Love the rub…sounds really tasty 🙂

  • Joanne April 12, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Thanks so much for your sweet comment on my blog!

    I can’t imagine not being able to cook baked goods. At least you are back in the states. I’ve heard good things about this big green egg business. And I love the word spatchcocked. the chicken looks delicious.

  • Zibi April 12, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    What a unique looking grill to!… to me anyway, when I showed my hubby the photo he said,”hey I’ve seen those before..” it must be a guy thing 🙂

    Outdoor grills do add such a nice smokey flavour, perfect for complementing your cajun rub.

  • OysterCulture April 13, 2010 at 8:19 am

    I’ve always wanted a green egg – like your husband I heard they had a great reputation. They have a store in SF that sells them and they smartly set the grill up outdoors to lure folks to sample – ahh!

  • Lori April 13, 2010 at 9:41 am

    kat – We are so excited about it!

    Hi Amy – So glad you are back to blogging again! I need to catch up.

    Velva – Well, it isn’t exactly the Big Green Egg, but the same idea. 🙂

    5 star – Thanks, it turned out well.

    Emily – Yeah, he probably already knows about it. Ha!

    gastroanthro – I completely understand your pain. 🙂 It is all about give and take with the expat experience. US conveniences and products are often the give part, as in give them away.

    Juliana – Thanks!

    Joanne – It was so hard to get used too! I finally got over it and now I’m glad to have some things back, but missing some Brazilian things too. Although not the oven. 🙂

    Zibi – Ha, ha! Yeah, I think it is.

    OysterCulture – We are excited to try out all its abilities. It is supposed to do great things and so far we aren’t missing the name brand. 🙂

  • Jessy April 13, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    The chicken looks great! I can’t wait until barbecue season here in the great white north!


  • Tangled Noodle April 15, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    I bookmarked Kat’s post on spatchcocking to remind me to make it soon! Congratulations on your new Egg – it does a marvelous job. 😎