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Oaky Smoky Salt & Chili Spatchcock Chicken

I had this thing called a 'Day Off' yesterday, apparently people have them all the time, first I've heard of it! Anyway I went out for a deer stalk first thing as I need to keep the barbecue freezer topped up but didn't see sight nor hair of them, we never seem to in early November, it's like they know they are in season! Anyway after getting back and cleaning up I decided NOT to go to work and to have a barbecue, seen as it wasn't raining!

The fridge was bare so I popped to my local shop and picked up a chicken, some mini spuds and some more mushrooms, I always seem to need more mushrooms and thought I would make a spatchcock salt & chili chicken with toasted mini potatoes and whatever green stuff we had in the freezer. So step one, spatchcock the chicken. For those that are unsure what this is you simply take the backbone out with either some poultry shears or a sharp sturdy knife, I then make an incision into the breast cartilage, turn the bird over and press on the breast until you hear the bone give and the chicken lays flat, tada a spatchcocked chicken! I then put a bit of oil on the chicken, this helps to crisp the skin as well as give the chunky rub something to adhere to and sprinkled the Salt & Chili rub liberally on all sides of the chicken.

Whilst I was preparing this I had light my barbecue with the coals at the back of the grill enabling me to smoke the chicken on indirect heat, this stops the bird drying out. I then halved or quartered the mini potatoes, cubed up some cooking bacon (code for shit bacon), sliced up a bunch of mushrooms and heated up my cast iron skillet ready for the above. I did par-boil the spuds for just 5-6 minutes and drained them before adding them to the skillet. I then added salt & chili rub to the mix to make it uber-delicious.

Once I put the chicken on the grill, breast side down I added some oak to the grill above the charcoal to heat up. This ensures that when I add the oak to the charcoal directly it will combust instantly and give off clean flavourful smoke instead of white acrid smoke that will ruin any food. Once the bacon had browned and the mushrooms gone soft I added the drained spuds and put the skillet into the barbecue to cook and to benefit from that lovely oak smoke flavour.

That is pretty much the cook, I turned the chicken over when it was around 60% cooked and moved it away from the heat and put the skillet of deliciousness over the coals to give it a boost. I smoked the chicken to and internal of 75 C in the breast and 86 C in the legs, anything with bone in should be cooked a little hotter and that is the beauty of spatchcocking your chicken, it cooks everything to the correct temperature at the same time! Unfortunately I found green stuff in the freezer so boiled some peas to go with the salt & chili chicken with salt & chili spud mix, I guess a bit of green enhances the look!

I will say that the chicken was both juicy, very juicy as well as delicious, the spuds cooked this way are always a winner and for once I got the peas spot on, not too hard and definitely not soggy. I enjoyed my day off, smoking some delicious food and a tasty cigar to boot. The family definitely enjoyed dinner, just a little thought and effort and you too could live like a king!

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