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Standing Walrus

Spatchcocking or De-Boning
a Whole Chicken

Over the last few years I've heard a lot of talk about cooking stuffing inside a whole turkey, and have seen a lot of different ways to cook it so that it gets fully cooked. I've wanted to try it, but there's always been negative reactions, from family, for not serving a whole bird. The truth is, this isn't the 50's, and I never bring out the whole bird to be carved at the table. Why not cook it so that it'll be perfectly done.

One of the problems of cooking either a whole turkey, or chicken, is that the white meat gets cooked before the dark meat. If you pull the bird, when the white meat is done, then the dark meat will be raw, And, if you cook the bird until the dark meat is done, then the white meat will be overcooked, and dry.

The way to solve this problem, is be able to take the breasts out as soon as there done, so that you can continue cooking the legs. And, it really isn't that long a project. After you've done this once or twice, you'll find that you're doing it more and more often. Especially when whole chickens usually cost a lot less than cut up breasts. You can usually buy a whole chicken less than the cost of 2 or 3 chicken breasts.

Of course, my oven isn't large enough for a turkey, or even a whole chicken. I'd have to cook the breasts by themselves, then cook the legs. That's why you see the picture of the chicken on a grill. I seasoned it with a Jamaican Jerk Rub, cooked it on a large grill, then served it with Jamaican Jerked Citrus Rice, and a Jerked Cantaloupe Salsa.

In case you didn't notice, I'm NOT in my galley, or even on my boat. I was at my Son's, Critter, and got to play in a real kitchen, and cook on a large gas grill. I did miss my charcoal grill, for the flavor, but it was REAL NICE getting to prep in a large kitchen, instead of my tiny galley.



  • 1 Whole Chicken or Turkey
  • Chicken Shears
  • Boning Knife, or Paring Knife

1. Begin by thoroughly washing the chicken, and making sure that you've got a large, clean work surface.

To Remove the Back:
Using the scissors, cut along both sides of the back bone. It's easiest if you hold onto the tail, and cut towards the neck.

Lift up the back bone and cut the flap at the end.
2. To Remove the Breast Bone:
Open the chicken, and lay it out flat on your cutting board.

Find the Breast Bone in the center. It's a long piece of cartilage that you'll find in the center of the chicken.

Make a small cut along the silver skin attaching it to the chicken, being careful to not cut too deep, or you might cut the skin.

Remove the breast bone with your fingers. Just pry it out of the chicken.
3. Remove the Rib Cage:
It's not necessary, but it'll make carving the chicken easier.

Carefully slice under the rib cage with a sharp knife, making many small passes.
Spatchcocking a Whole Chicken, Picture


4. When you've got one side done, turn the chicken around, and remove the other rib cage.
Spatchcocking a Whole Chicken, Picture


5. Cut the tips off the wings. There's no meat on them, and they'll burn real easy. Save these in your freezer for making Chicken Soup.
Spatchcocking a Whole Chicken, Picture


6. Your done. The chicken is now ready for cooking.

If you plan on cooking this in an oven, you might want to remove the legs. The breast, white meat, cooks quicker than dark meat. By removing the breasts when they're done, they stay nice and moist.

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thecapn@capnrons.com