Product Highlight: Butterfly (Spatchcock) Chicken

This chicken’s gonna put butterflies in your stomach! Because it’s a butterflied chicken!! 

...okay, zingers aside, this is a pretty cool cut that we just recently started serving up. At first I was admittedly a bit thrown off by its appearance (my reaction was something like “what the heck happened to that chicken”), but once I threw it on the grill I knew there was no going back. I can’t speak for everyone in my age group, but in my experience younger folks aren’t particularly adept at cooking up a whole chicken. We tend to find the concept intimidating, primarily because, for one thing, it just takes SO LONG to cook (we are the microwave generation after all), but especially because we’re afraid of investing so much money in something that’s so easy to screw up. It wasn’t until I started working on farms a few years ago that I determined to upgrade from buying precooked rotisserie chickens to actually doing it myself. After a number of failures, I’ve gotten pretty comfortable with popping a chicken in the oven, but I still always find myself crossing my fingers and nervously jabbing the thing with a meat thermometer. If only there were an easier way... 

That’s where the butterfly chicken comes in! Regardless of your level of experience with cooking chicken, this cut provides so much peace of mind. It cooks significantly quicker and more evenly, and its shape allows for it to be grilled which I wouldn’t recommend trying with a whole chicken, to say the least.

 

Crispy skin, juicy meat, what more could you want?
What a pretty, crispy bird

 

The trick behind this cut is that we remove the backbone and cut the breastbone’s connective cartilage, essentially unfurling the entire bird. This can be done at home to any whole chicken with a sharp knife and some familiarity with poultry anatomy, but it’s a dirty job – so we’re doing it for you! While there’s still a very special place in my heart for a roasted whole chicken stuffed with aromatics, I confess the butterfly chicken has become my go-to cut. It allows me to dunk the chicken in a marinade during the day, pull it out at night, and have it cooked and ready to eat within an hour. Applying a last minute rub or sauce is a breeze too, since you now have a flat surface that’s so much easier to work with. 

 

There’s a chicken somewhere beneath all that BBQ sauce, I promise

 

Prices are running at $5.50/lb retail and $4.50/lb wholesale. If you’re interested in trying out this cut and can’t find it at any of the outlets listed in our Find Us section, please consider contacting the management of your favorite affiliated store and ask if they’d place an order with us. Otherwise, catch us on Fridays at the Acadia Farmers’ Market in Town Hill, on Saturdays at Lubec Farmers’ Market and our own farm stand, and on Sundays at Eden Farmers’ Market in Bar Harbor. We’ll hook you up!

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