Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

January 24, 2022

© Alison Miksch

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Lemon-Espresso Spatchcocked Chicken

1 chicken (about 4 lbs./2 kg), washed, patted dry and spatchcocked
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) olive oil
1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
For the espresso rub
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) finely ground dark-roast coffee
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) smoked paprika
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) coarse salt
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) ground ancho chile
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) finely grated lemon zest

For espresso grilling sauce
1 c. (250 ml) brewed dark-roast coffee
1 c. (250 ml) ketchup
¼ c. (60 ml) dark brown mustard
⅓ c. (90 ml) honey
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) lemon juice
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) hot pepper sauce
2 tsp. (10 ml) ground black pepper
2 tsp. (10 ml) coarse salt

Light a grill for direct medium heat, about 375°F (190°C).

To spatchcock the chicken place it, breast side down, on a cutting board. Cut along either side of the backbone with poultry shears or a knife with a thin, sharp blade. Remove the backbone. Open the chicken like a book. Run a small knife on either side of the breastbone and slide your thumb in the slit to loosen the sternum (the center of the breastbone) and the white cartilage attached to it. Remove the loosened bone and cartilage.

Flatten the chicken gently with your hands. Fold the wing tips back until they are tucked behind the shoulders, which will lock them flat. With a small knife, make a slit (about 1 inch long) through one side of the apron of skin at the rear of the chicken. Reach under the bird and slide the end of the drumstick through the slit. Repeat on the other side.

In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the espresso rub. Makes ¾ cup (180 ml). Can be stored in a tightly closed container in a refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Rub the chicken all over with oil and the rub, concentrating on the skinless side.

Brush and oil the grill grate and place the chicken, skin-side down, on the grate. Grill for about 15 minutes and turn with a spatula and/or tongs. Grill for about 15 minutes more, until an instant-read thermometre inserted into the inside of a thigh registers 165°F (325°C).

In a medium saucepan, mix together all the ingredients for the espresso grilling sauce. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Makes about 2 ⅓ cups (590 ml). Can be stored in tightly closed container for up to 1 month.

Baste the chicken with ¼ cup (60 ml) of the grilling sauce, cook for a few minutes to brown, turn the chicken, and repeat, basting with another ¼ cup (60 ml) sauce.

If you like, coat the lemon wedges with oil and grill briefly. Serve the chicken with the lemon and the remaining 1 cup (250 ml) sauce on the side. Makes 4 servings.

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