Skillet Spatchcock Chicken With Pineapple
Spatchcocking a chicken is the perfect way to cook a whole chicken over your fire pit. Removing the backbone and flattening out the bird allows even cooking in less time than a traditionally roasted bird.
This recipe plays with the idea of a Chinese chicken and pineapple dish that will be familiar to many that like Chinese takeaway food. Honey and soy feature in the glaze alongside mirin and the tingly flavours of Szechuan pepper. Cooking this spatchcock chicken in a heavy based cast iron pan helps reduce the glaze and create the most beautiful glaze and patina on the bird. The resting time provides the perfect opportunity to grill up the pineapple that sits perfectly alongside the chicken..
For the Chicken:
1 Chicken: Around 2kg or 4.5-5lb
1 Tbsp Szechuan Pepper Corns (lightly crushed)
3 Tbsp Honey
3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
3 Tsp Mirin
For the Pineapple:
1 Medium Pineapple
2 Tsbp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
Cast iron or heavy based pan
Take the chicken and flip it over so that the beast is on the chopping board.
Cut along one side of the backbone with a pair of poultry sheers starting at the parsons nose. The ‘lump’ at the large cavity end of the chicken.
Repeat this process on the other side of the backbone.
Flip the bird over so the breasts are in the position they normally would be when cooking a chicken and splay out the bird a little.
Place your hands on the breastbone in a similar way to how you see adopted when giving CPR and push firmly. You will hear a pop and your bird should sit flat.
Mix together the other ingredients for the chicken with the exception of the Szechuan pepper.
Pour over the crushed Szechuan pepper corns followed by the rest of the ingredients, let this sit for as long as it takes to start your fire pit as a minimum and leave for as long as 24 hours.
Light your pit and allow the flames to die back, positioning the grill of your Breeo smoke-less fire pit 3-4” above the flames.
Add your skillet or pan and allow to heat up.
When hot add the spatchcock chicken skin side down and sear for 2-3 minutes.
After you have seared the chicken pour in the marinade, it will bubble up very quickly, this is the honey caramelising.
Allow the chicken to sit for 2 minutes and then flip over, it helps to spin your grill off the heat when doing this.
Place the chicken back in the pan cut side down arranging the legs into the pan.
Pour in a quarter of a pint (around 150ml) of water and then cover with foil. Again it helps to spin the grill from the flame when doing this.
Return and cook for 30-40 minutes.
Whilst your chicken is cooking peel and remove the eyes from your pineapple.
Cut in to quarters vertically and then remove the core, cut these quarters in half lengthways leaving 8 large pieces of pineapple.
Mix together the soy and sesame oil and pour over the chicken allowing it to sit whilst the chicken finishes cooking.
The chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of 165°F or 73°C when cooked, it will increase by 10-15°F whilst resting. For best results use a meat thermometer and check the thickest part of the thigh but do not touch the bone.
Remove the spatchcock chicken and pour over any remaining glaze, then cover with a foil tent and rest for 10 minutes.
Lower the griddle and then place the pineapple over the heat and sear cooking for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Carve your chicken and serve with salad leaves and lots of fresh chives.