That is a fun word to say.  Last night, Matt and I grilled a chicken, using our outdoor charcoal grill for the first time this year.  Matt got a recipe from Ruhlman to do a spatchcock chicken – which is really just a chicken that’s had it’s backbone cut out and then flattened prior to grilling.  Ruhlman had a great baste for the chicken, to be applied in the last 20 minutes of cooking which I will simply copy/paste here.  This post is not us doing anything original, but just following a couple of recipes for a really great summer night of grilling.  We cooked everything on the grill from the chicken to a couple of roasted tomatoes stuffed with blue cheese and topped with breadcrumbs and olive oil (from the grilling issue of Bon Appetit) to our baguette.

These are the blue cheese stuffed tomatoes.  Probably our favorite part of the meal as we cut them up and ate them on top of our grilled baguette.

We used the baste for the chicken and slathered it on our baguette and laid them down to toast as the chicken was finishing up.

Matt applying the baste to the chicken.

Yes, you are a yummy chicken.  Here is the baste recipe, a la Michael Ruhlman:

Rip’s Grilled Chicken Baste

Juice from ½ lime
4 ounces butter (a stick)
1-1/2 tablespoons Coleman’s powdered mustard
1 tablespoon dried tarragon
1 tablespoon minced shallot

Squeeze the lime juice into a small sauce pan and place it over high heat.  When the juice is warm, add the butter and swirl it in the juice constantly over the high heat until the butter is melted (you can just melt the butter if you want, but the swirling keeps the butter emulsified, which helps to keep the ingredients well distributed).  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.  That’s it.

Serve the grilled chicken with a chilli lime mayonnaise or simply squeeze some juice from the other half of the lime over the chicken.

The full view.  I love summer.

Here is the recipe for the tomatoes.  I seriously recommend putting these with toasted baguette for a meal in and of itself.

blue cheese crusted tomatoes Bon Appétit | July 2008

The flavors of two classic steakhouse menu items—blue cheese dressing and stewed tomatoes—are combined in one incredible, simple-to prepare grilled dish.

Makes 6 servings

by Judith Fertig


1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 medium tomatoes
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 3 ounces)


Prepare barbecue (high heat), leaving opposite side unlit if gas grill or without coals if charcoal grill. Mix breadcrumbs and olive oil in small bowl, mashing to coat. Cut top 1/4 from each tomato. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper. Top each with 1 tablespoon blue cheese. Sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture.

Arrange tomatoes (topping side up) on unlit side of grill. Cover grill and cook tomatoes until slightly soft and cheese melts, about 13 minutes. Serve immediately.



Filed under Food Stuffs, Photography

4 responses to “Spatchcock

  1. Your tomato recipe could not have come at a better time, since Sean’s tomato plants have produced about a jillion of the tasty treats. I wish we lived closer so I could bring some by to share. They are delicious, but taking over my kitchen!

  2. It ALL looks fantastic! Let us know if you ever need taste testers…I’m pretty good at that! 🙂

  3. Mom

    Wow, what a beautiful meal!

  4. Pingback: Lazarus, arise! And eat some jam! |

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