Looking for some adventure this Thanksgiving? Try spatchcocking your bird and serve it with this Gingered Sweet Potato Bisque. Add a side of Kale and Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Cranberries and call it a day.
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I wish you could have seen the look on The Grillmaster’s face when I asked him if he wanted to do a little spatchcocking. He wasn’t sure whether to be excited or afraid. Or both.
How to Spatchcock a Chicken (or Turkey)
Spatchcocking is a technique for cooking a bird flat. You remove the backbone (not the breast bone, right Miss in the Kitchen?) Then you splay out the bird and crack the breast bone so the bird cooks evenly. This is great in the case of a Thanksgiving turkey, as it won’t take up as much room in your oven and it will cook more quickly which will free up your oven for those all-important side dishes. See a much more detailed explanation of spatchcocking a turkey over at Thyme in Our Kitchen.
I decided to use my spiffy new OXO poultry shears to take the backbone out of a turkey so I could try grilling it, spatchcock style. The one problem I didn’t anticipate? That my grocery store would have no turkeys! Just a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving and there wasn’t a single turkey to be found. (I blame Hurricane Sandy.) So I bought a chicken instead. I was determined to spatchcock, one way or another.
Grilling the Bird
The OXO shears made quick work of the backbone. Then I brined the chicken overnight using a mixture similar to the one Serious Eats recommends for turkey. The Grillmaster fired up the grill, I used the OXO Silicone Basting Brush to spread olive oil all over the chicken and we were off and running. He seared the breast side first, then flipped the bird and finished cooking it over indirect heat, covered. (The flipping part would be trickier with a turkey.) All in all, the chicken cooked in about 30 minutes. It was moist and delicious. I’ll definitely use the spatchcocking technique again. Maybe next time I’ll get to use a turkey.
Add Gingered Sweet Potato Bisque
I also tried a new soup recipe that would be a nice addition to your Thanksgiving table – Gingered Sweet Potato Bisque. My new OXO 3-in-1 Adjustable Potato Ricer made quick work of the sweet potatoes.
Disclosure: I received a free set of cooking tools from OXO plus a second set to give away. All opinions are my own. See my disclosures page for more information.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2-1/2 cups chicken stock (homemade or low-sodium store bought)
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, cooked and peeled
- ½ cup fat-free half and half
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- Kosher salt
- white pepper
- chopped fresh chives or slivered crystallized ginger, for garnish (optional)
- In a 2-quart saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; sauté until onions are translucent and tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add stock and ginger. Use a potato ricer to grate sweet potatoes directly into saucepan. Stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring often.
- Add half and half and sherry. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Stir well and turn off heat. Bisque will have some texture. If you prefer yours to be smoother, use an immersion blender or run it through a food processor. If soup is thicker than you want it to be, add more half and half or stock.
- Spoon into bowls and garnish with chives or crystallized ginger, if desired.