First, I must brag on myself and tell you that I butchered my first chicken this weekend! That’s right. I bought 2 whole chickens, removed the complimentary neck, gizzards and liver, then began removing the appendages of the little birds and breaking the breast bone and back. I can see why people prefer to buy the pieces pre-cut. However, I was pleased to get a total of 4 breast halves, 4 wings, and 4 legs for a grand total of $7.00! It is more work, but you get more for your money AND you get a little anatomy lesson. You get to see all the joints and tendons and how they’re connected. I enjoyed it, but Ben chose to stay out of the kitchen. Here’s a video I found after I’d cut up my chickens. I got my instructions from “How to Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman.
My chicken pieces could almost pass for pre-packaged chicken pieces, so I will consider this a successful first time at chicken butchering.
These lovely chicken pieces were used to make a delicious grilled chicken recipe from the July 2008 Fine Cooking. The glaze smells so wonderful as its cooking. I used fresh rosemary right from the back yard and its flavor along with the sweet apricot preserves, spicy red pepper and tangy vinegar made a tasty glaze for the chicken. The amount of glaze is perfect for the 12 pieces of chicken I used, but making a batch and a half would not be a bad idea.
You can make the glaze a day ahead, cover and refrigerate it. Just be sure to warm it up again before you plan to glaze the chicken so that it will be easy to spread.
Apricot-Balsamic Glazed Chicken
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup apricot preserves (without corn syrup)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- Two 4-pound chickens cut into pieces
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Add preserves, vinegar, red pepper, rosemary and a large pinch of salt, and stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes until sauce has thickened slightly.
- Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Grill chicken on a medium grill skin side down for 10 minutes, flip and cook 10 minutes more or until chicken reaches 165°F.
- Transfer chicken pieces to a platter and tent with foil.
- Brush glaze all over the chicken pieces and return to the grill for a few minutes to caramelize the glaze.