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Spatchcock My Poussin
07-08-2006, 08:12 AM
Post: #1
Spatchcock My Poussin

With the barbeque season being in full flow, I spent some time in Tesco looking for somthing out of the ordinary to incinerate. While browsing in the meat aisle I came across a poussin, but no ordinary one, it was a Spatchcock Poussin.

It was the first time I'd come across such a beast, for those not in the know it resembles a chicken that has been thrown under an industrial press then had a wooden skewer rammed through it.

Apart from the obvious question ('Why bother?'), I also started wondering about 'Spatchcock'. Why such an unusual term for a squashed bird? Is it a verb (I Spatchcock, you Spatchcock, he/she Spatchcocks?) and if so can you Spatchcock anything at all or does it have to be a particular kind of bird? And where does the word come from? Was there a Mr or Mrs Spatchcock who spent hours trying various ways to deform a chicken? Or who perhaps stumbled across the method by accident, maybe reversing the Ford out of the garage and running over the family's pet rooster?

Any theories, suggestions, etc about the origins, or indeed why anyone would want to do this in the first place, would be welcome.

PS the Spatchcock Poussin barbequed up very nicely.

Yours in a flattened state
SF

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07-08-2006, 08:28 AM
Post: #2
Spatchcock My Poussin
The American Heratage Dictionary has this to say sf:

American Heritage® Dicti Wrote:SPATCHCOCK
n. A dressed and split chicken for roasting or broiling on a spit.
tr.v. To prepare (a dressed chicken) for grilling by splitting open.
To introduce or interpose, especially in a labored or unsuitable manner: "Some
excerpts from a Renaissance mass are spatchcocked into Gluck's pallid Don Juan
music" (Alan Rich).

I guess the third bit confirms your musings about the unusual state to find a bird in.

Incidentally, what sort of size are we talking?

I've always found poussin to be very small and fiddley for a relatively poor yield of meat.

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07-08-2006, 08:54 AM
Post: #3
Spatchcock My Poussin
I found this:

Quote: 1785, A classical of the vulgar tongue, - Francis Gross, editor
'Spatch cock, abbreviation of dispatch cock, an Irish dish upon any sudden occasion. It is a hen just killed from the roost, or yard, and immediately skinned, split and broiled.'

Maybe when you have 'sudden' guests, you just rush out into the yard with your shovel and flatten the nearest unwary chook. It would cook quicker as well in its pancaked state.

Ask TE - she may well be accustomed to this type of entertaining.

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07-08-2006, 09:06 AM
Post: #4
Spatchcock My Poussin
Groucho Wrote:Incidentally, what sort of size are we talking?

I've always found poussin to be very small and fiddley for a relatively poor yield of meat.

I'm talking 'large poussin', enough to satisfy two moderately hungry adults, but for the larger appetite you'd probably need a whole one to yourself. They were quite keenly priced at £2.09 each and two for £3, so I took advantage of the special offer and bought two, one of which was cooked and saved in the fridge for a meal tonight.

By the way, I'm quite excited by the example you gave of the alternative use of the verb 'to spatchcock'

To introduce or interpose, especially in a labored or unsuitable manner: "Some excerpts from a Renaissance mass are spatchcocked into Gluck's pallid Don Juan music" (Alan Rich).

and I'm wondering if we could sometimes use it on the board, eg: " I wish she'd stop spatchcocking my thread..." etc.

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07-08-2006, 09:14 AM
Post: #5
Spatchcock My Poussin
survivorfan Wrote:and I'm wondering if we could sometimes use it on the board, eg: " I wish she'd stop spatchcocking my thread..." etc.

Frequently! :glare:

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07-08-2006, 05:06 PM
Post: #6
Spatchcock My Poussin
So if someone spatchcocks a thread, can we immediately skin, split and broil them? :w00t:


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07-08-2006, 05:35 PM
Post: #7
Spatchcock My Poussin
Can we flatten them with a shovel first?

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07-08-2006, 06:30 PM
Post: #8
Spatchcock My Poussin
Apropos of nothing can I mention another unusual 's-word' that sprang to mind? Spavin.

I once worked in an IT department, and one of our more difficult customers was a lady by the name of Janet Spavin. She was quite a thrusting businesswoman, but very difficult to deal with, mainly because she had totally fixed ideas and wouldn't listen to a POV that was at variance with her own. This made her unpopular with the IT staff and members of her own department.

If someone was heading off to a meeting and had a look of foreboding about them, nine times out of ten you could tell why ('Who's the meeting with?' 'SPAVIN!')

One of the programmers,who came from a farming family, mentioned that a spavin was a festering sore found on the leg of a horse, and it was taken up as being strangely appropriate for Janet ('Spavin by name, Spavin by nature')

We even took to using it as a verb (V trans., to spavin, to block a reasonable line of development by interposing one's own fixed opinions, to treat one's own opinions as immutable and beyond criticism,etc)

Many times things would be spavined, and not just by Ms Spavin herself, anybody in theory could be capable of spavining.

So, again, this could apply to the messageboard, even though it's not a universally known expression, if I use it you will know what I mean, if a thread is spavined you'll be able to spot it.

I suppose it would be possible to both Spatchcock and spavin a discussion at the same time, but as far as I know there isn't a single term for that particular brand of double whammy.

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07-08-2006, 06:31 PM
Post: #9
Spatchcock My Poussin
Couldn't find a shovel, but I like this idea

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07-08-2006, 06:33 PM
Post: #10
Spatchcock My Poussin
survivorfan Wrote:I suppose it would be possible to both Spatchcock and spavin a discussion at the same time, but as far as I know there isn't a single term for that particular brand of double whammy.

I can think of one :bag:


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