Word of Mouth: Spatchcock

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Spatchcock [spa ch käk] v. to split open and prepare a chicken or other bird for grilling or spit-roasting

Spatchcocked birds (also called spatchcocks) are flattened out with their backbones removed, which helps them to cook much faster and preserve their moisture and tenderness. Spatchcocking a turkey is a good way to prepare that Thanksgiving beast, flattening its girth down to a manageable thickness that roasts quickly and thoroughly over a smoky grill.

You can see step-by-step, illustrated instructions for spatchcocking a chicken at the SFGate website, and there is an interesting discussion over at this site on spatchcocking a turkey - apparently it only takes about 2 1/2 hours to cook. I have one friend, a former chef, who swears by this method, and his grilled turkeys and chickens are indeed sublime.

Plus, the word spatchcock, it is really fun to say. Spatchcock!

[Photo: The Heart of New England]

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.