Commando in Wal-Mart; spatchcocking

Spatchcocked (butterflied) chicken on its way into oven.
Spatchcocked (butterflied) chicken on its way into oven.

Pride went-eth before the fall of my bloomers.

Getting dressed for a Wal-Mart expedition, I decided to wear a sundress. I also decided to try smaller-sized underwear (almost 15 pounds gone at Weight Watchers). I never wear skirts and didn’t think that nothing would hold them up should the elastic roll floor-ward like a rubber band overstretched around a Bosc pear (Drew Carey’s image of himself in a Speedo®).

So I’m trotting along in front of the poultry and realize this new size that I’m so proud of is heading south. I can hold up my unmentionables with one hand, but a) it’s obvious what I’m doing and b) it’s tough to shop and push a cart with one hand.

I remember my mother talking about her friend Ann Leslie, simply stepping out of her bloomers and walking away from them on a busy Manhattan sidewalk. I step into frozen vegetables where no one is shopping and shed my stupid briefs, stuffing them into my purse. If anyone saw me from behind, there’s another wonderful thing about being my age: Who cares? We finish shopping, and Stoic the Vast still hasn’t got over it.

Boxing class is doing a number on my pride as well. The word for my footwork is lumber-some. But I realized this week — only took what, 70 years? — that I could go to class and do what I can do. Showing up is a challenge all by itself, and I don’t have to be good — or even average — at everything I try. What matters is that I’m working on making exercise a habit and having some healthy goals.

I was proud of this chicken.  Our middle daughter usually calls from Boston on Sunday nights, and frequently is roasting a chicken for supper. I’d saved an Associated Press article by Alison Ladman with 10 different variations. I went for the Barbecue Roasted Chicken. Stoic said it was as good as the chicken at Keaton’s Barbecue, near us and well-known for having been featured in Gourmet magazine and for the original owner’s keeping a baseball bat at the cash register for rude or noisy customers. (I love calling North Carolina home.)

Ladman’s a believer in spatchcocking (butterflying) the whole chicken to shorten roasting time and make sure the meat cooks evenly. To spatchcock your bird,  all you need is a good pair of kitchen shears. Cut on both sides of the backbone and remove it. Flip the bird over, and press down between breast halves to flatten . Couldn’t be simpler even if it’s not a word you’re going to throw around at formal teas.

Barbecue roasted chicken

3- to 5-pound whole chicken, giblets and neck removed

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Heat oven to 400°. Spatchcock chicken as described above. Place chicken on rack in roasting pan, turning wings out to sides (it’s OK if you eat these as soon as you pull your treasure from the oven — someone has to quality test). Combine rub ingredients. Brush chicken top and bottom with melted butter, then season with rub under and over skin and on inside. Roast until breast meat reaches 160° and the thigh reaches 175°. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving, and try not to rip all the crispy, sweet-spicy skin off the carcass for immediate consumption. Good hot, cold or in-between.

Finished chicken with perfectly seasoned and roasted skin.
Finished chicken with perfectly seasoned and roasted skin.
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3 thoughts on “Commando in Wal-Mart; spatchcocking

  1. You are too funny! The image of you stepping out of your drawers in frozen foods is priceless! Plus the chicken sounds delish! You’re the whole package!

    Like

  2. OMG, that is SO funny! It reminds me of my mother at the celebration of my 2nd marriage. She had worn panty hose for the first time in many years, I think. And they kept rolling, or drooping down. Poor woman. She had to keep going to the restroom to adjust. I was oblivious, of course, or I would have said, take them off, but I don’t think she could have done it. Thank heavens we are more practical! ‘Course she was skeptical about that marriage and she was SO right! And I can’t wait to fit spatchcocking into a conversation!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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