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April 2009: Spatchcocking

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April 2009
Welcome | Barbecue Tipster | Gotta Have It | Meet the Experts | Recipe of the Month | The Spring Kick-Off Event | Ask Dr.McGrillmeup | The World of Barbecue | This Month's Winners | Next Month's Issue | Contact Us
I’ve been looking forward to this issue of the Hot Line for years. You see, this month we’re talking about spatchcocking. I’ve never actually done it before I just think it sounds funny. Juvenile but true. However, I do feel a certain moral obligation to walk the walk here so, this month, we’re going to get our hands dirty and actually do some spatchockin'’!
  I’m a simple person. A linear thinker. I like grilling. High heat, lots of flame, quick results. Slow cooking, roasting and smoking tastes fine – I just don’t have the patience. So, if you’re like me – an ADD griller – and you like the idea of roasted chicken but don’t always have the patience for it, spatchcocking is for you. It’s a way of flattening the entire chicken so that it can be grilled as one giant cutlet. Every bit of the bird flirts with the flame of your grill and ends up being graced by the flavour of fire. The result (at least in our experiment) was juicy, tender and easy. In other news, keep your eyes peeled for our retail catalogue. Forty eight fun filled pages of barbecues, fireplaces and patio furniture should be hitting your mailbox shortly (or may already have shown up). If you didn’t get one of our retail catalogues, we’ve got heaps of them in the stores and, for you, they’re 100% free.

Barbecue Tipster
IF you’re spatchcocking on a regular basis...you should get some poultry shears. These nasty scissors aren’t for cutting paper and string, they’re built for skin and bone. Quicker and easier than slicing your bird with a knife – more fun too.

Gotta Have It
This is a picture of a barbecue burner (well, actually, it’s a picture of Hiram and a barbecue burner but, in this case, the important part of the pictures is the burner). If, in these uncertain economic times, you find yourself needing a new barbecue but you don’t have space in the household budget this season, consider fixing your existing barbecue (if you don’t have an existing barbecue I believe you have stumbled into the wrong newsletter – perhaps there is a different “Hot Line” out there in cyberville with an entirely different focus, who knows?)
  Here at Barbecues Galore we have a huge (ridiculous?) collection of barbecue parts and fittings. We’re happy to help you get old ‘Backyard Bessie’ up and running. Bring us the old part that you want to replace and we’ll match it up with a new one. If you don’t have the old part, bring us the make and model number of your existing grill and we’ll figure things out. So, fix your old barbecue; it’s the right thing to do for the earth and it’s the right thing to do for your backyard.

Meet the Experts
Meet Jen. She works in our purchasing department in Calgary. She’s in charge of finding all the weird and wonderful grilling gadgets that make our store unique. If you call us and ask us to find some completely off the wall barbecue sauce that you think you may have seen down in Tijuana once, it’s Jen that flies madly off in all directions trying to find it. Jen currently barbecues on a very old Fiesta barbecue (uh, Jen?) but has her eyes set on a new Big Green Egg (www.biggreenegg.ca).
  Jen has a brand new husband (Justin) and a slightly older dog (Ben). Her favourite part about working at Barbecues Galore (outside of the top-rate management) is the food on Fridays at lunch. Her favourite is grilled pineapple and, like many of us here at Barbecues Galore, her favourite seasoning is from Char-Crust (www.charcrust.com). Jen turned a little red when we asked her about ‘spatchcocking’. She stammered something that sounded like “pig”, then went completely silent and walked away. In retrospect I believe it’s possible that she had not heard the term before. We are going to try and educate her before the anti-harassment brochures start dropping on our desk.

Recipe of the MonthSpatchcocked Chicken with Basil Marinade (based on a recipe from www.barbecuebible.com) For the marinade: 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice 1/3 cup boiling water 3 cloves garlic, peeled 1 large bunch fresh basil, stemmed 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 chicken
Mix all your ingredients (well, ok, not the chicken – everything else though) in a food processor. Set aside.
Now, onto the spatchcocked chicken: flip the chicken onto its back and slide your sharp knife along one side of the chicken’s backbone.
Push down cutting through the ribs, severing one side of the chicken from it’s spine.
Flip the bird over, place your knife on the other (still connected) side of the backbone and remove the spine from the bird.
Now you’ve got a chicken without a backbone (I guess that’s a ‘chicken’ chicken). Flip it over so that it’s chest is facing upwards.
Grit your teeth and break the breastbone of the bird (for you sensitive grillers out there I should warn you that there are some unpleasant breaking noises that occur at this point in the recipe).
Cut small holes in the skin at both sides of the tail of the bird. Wiggle the ankle bones of the bird through these holes. This will keep the legs more connected to the body of the bird while you’re grilling it and flipping it over on the barbecue.
Gently separate some of the breast skin from the meat of the bird.
Put some lemons into the chest cavity of the bird. Because the breast meat is drier than the thigh meat, these lemons will help keep the breast meat moist while the thigh meat is cooking a bit longer on the grill.
Place the whole chicken into a freezer bag and fill with the marinade. Massage it a bit so that the marinade is spread evenly over the bird. Let sit for a few hours in the fridge.
Place chickens flat on the barbecue and grill using a combination of direct and indirect heat. Our birds took about an hour to finish. We probably flipped them three or four times during the cooking process.
Remove from the grill and inspect the chicken.
Because there is no backbone in the bird, this is very easy to carve up. Squeeze some more lemon on the meat before serving with some roasted vegetables, some of those green, leafy things and some wine (antioxidants unite!).

The Spring Kick-Off Event
If you’ve been waiting for a sign from heaven that it is the proper time to buy your new barbecue: this is it! On the weekend of April 24-26, we’re having one of our rare sales events. Normally, we’re content to be the price leader in our industry. For this weekend we’re sweetening the deal even more. Get this: With every purchase of a barbecue over $725 you receive a free, instant in-store credit for $100. You can spend it on anything you want in the store (except for the original barbecue). So, buy a barbecue and get $100 instantly to spend on a patio heater, barbecue sauces, an umbrella, gas fireplace, patio furniture, turkey fryer, pizza oven (I think you’ve got the idea here right?).
  Wake up grandma, tell your neighbours, tell your friends. This is a terrific bargain. It’s happening at all four stores: Burlington, Oakville, Calgary North, Calgary South. See you April 24-26.

Ask Dr.McGrillmeup
Question:Dear Dr. McGrillemup, I’m shopping for a new barbecue, how long do most barbecues last?Curious, Mr. C. Autious
  Answer:   Dear C, The answer?: it depends. It depends on what type of barbecue you buy. As with any other manufactured product, there are high-value products and there are low-value products. Don't forget to consider the long term availability of replacement parts for any barbecue you’re considering. If you’re buying a barbecue that's built in China by a company nobody’s ever heard of before – it just might be hard to get parts for it down the road.
No doubt in my mind about this: the barbecues that age better than any other barbecues are Weber. A customer was in the store the other day looking at the Weber barbecues. He couldn’t decide what colour to get. I told him that he had better pick a colour he likes because he’s going to have it for a long time. He said, “Well I don’t really expect to get anymore than eight years out of a barbecue.” I stared at him. What the hell did he just say? I obviously hadn’t been clear enough with him when I was talking about the Weber quality. “Oh no,” I said, “…if you don’t get at least ten years out of this barbecue, I’m going to consider my entire life a failure.” Now it was his turn to stare. I told him: “Barring a catastrophe, extreme misuse or the everyday grilling of ‘Agent-Orange Burgers’, this barbecue is going to last much, much longer than eight years.”He ended up taking the black one.

The World of BarbecueOpen House in Burlington We had an open-house reception for our new Burlington store on March 4th. Despite the fact that the room was full of people we owed money to, a good time was had by all. The grilled food was terrific (thanks Sean), the store looked gorgeous and, eventually, we drank the bar dry. If you live in Southern Ontario and haven’t been to our new location yet – you should check it out.
Our logo. On a cake. Nice.
Darryl and Gwen from Burlington. Kent from Oakville. ‘A rose between two thorns’ was the suggested caption. I couldn’t think of anything better.
Staff from our Burlington and Oakville stores. Thanks for all your hard work at the open house fellas.
This is what our new store looks like at about 11pm after you’ve had a handful of tighteners and can’t stand still so that your camera can focus.
In other news from our Burlington store, this is a picture of the winners of our “Buy a Fireplace - win a Barbecue” contest. Gus and Ann had us install a beautiful new fireplace in their Burlington home and (bonus!) they won a brand new Weber barbecue.
  Here are some of the staff lunches we’ve had around the mother-ship this month:  
Perry cooked up some Thai pork burgers, coconut rice and curried green beans. Outstanding flavour.
Trevor grilled up the flank steak sandwiches with arugula mayonnaise that we featured in last month’s edition of The Hot Line.
Sonya-butter basted beef burgers-Homemade veggie burgers-roasted garlic and blue cheese potato salad
Chris did up a large batch of Sausage Jambalaya with mashed potatoes.
  And don’t forget dear grillers: send us a picture and/or story of you (or a friend of yours, or an enemy of yours) grilling and we’ll send you a $25 gift certificate usable in any of our four stores.

This Month's Winner
Every single month, we randomly draw four winning names (one per store) from our newsletter mailing list. We only post the winning names below so you’ve got to keep your eyes peeled each month. If you win, you can claim your prize by stopping by the Barbecues Galore in your area with your photo identification. Congratulations to this month's winners of a chicken prize pack:Gary Campbbell (Calgary South) Jack Hamlin (Calgary North) Karen Bevendse (Burlington) Kathy Reinhardt (Oakville)

Next Month’s Issue
Next month we’re talking about the only rock we eat. That’s right, ‘salt’. How it affects the food we grill. See you next month.

Contact Us We want to hear from you. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at:query@barbecuesgalore.caRemember, an archive of our past newsletters can be found at www.barbecuesgalore.ca/newsletter

North Calgary3505 Edmonton Trail NE,Calgary, Alberta403-250-1558 South Calgary5875 9th Street SE,Calgary, Alberta403-258-4440 Burlington3100 Harvester RoadBurlington, Ontario905-639-5952 Oakville 490 Speers RoadOakville, Ontario905-844-3224

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