04 Jul 2018

Butcher’s guide to barbecuing birds.

We’re on the brink of summer, which can only mean one thing; dodgy aprons are being donned and the faithful barbecue is taking pride-of-place on the patio, as it’s time to head outdoors and grill up an al fresco feast with family and friends.

Whilst burgers and bangers are firm favourites, why not get creative with chicken this year? Although often overlooked, there’s no end to what this humble bird can do. It can be cubed to create colourful kebabs, legs and drumsticks can be infused with spicy marinades, or studded with garlic and herbs and grilled to create a feast for both eyes and stomach.

Cooking a whole chicken outside can be a daunting idea – however – the butchers at Etherington’s Farm Shop near Scorrier say that all worries of burnt skins and raw middles can be extinguished by simply removing the bird’s backbone, a butchery skill known as spatchcocking. This enables the chicken to lay flat, with even exposure to the heat, which all but guarantees crisp, juicy results every time.

Using poultry scissors, or a large knife, remove the chicken’s backbone by cutting down each side of the spine. Then, place on a board skin-side up and push down hard with the palm of your hand to flatten. Thread a skewer through the wing, the breast and out through the wing on the other side and repeat, until you have a cross shape – or ask your butcher to do this for you.

Cooking poultry this way is a double win as you halve the cooking time and still get to keep the meat on the bone, meaning it retains all its delicious flavour! Pair with colourful roasted veggies, buttery new potatoes and spicy couscous.