Playing with my Food

I will be the first to admit I have a dark and somewhat twisted sense of humor, and it doesn’t take much to make me chuckle like a school girl at the mere mention of something innocuous as balls or the mounds.  I know I am like a pubescent teen, laughing at the most inappropriate things.  Must be all the time I spent hanging with the boys in my hood.  Lest anyone think that was not a joke, they are all good guys, whom I’m still friends with today!  I do however, take this dark side to my culinary creations, sometimes.  For isntance, I saw a post in November, where someone pinned a picture of a turkey with lemon boobs, which required loosening the skin of the turkey and sticking half lemons on “nipple side” up (you know the notch a the bottom of some lemons makes the perfect nipple) as if you didn’t think the same thing!  I have a picture of it in my gallery on my welcome page.  My kids were hysterical that I would dirty up our family dinner with such a display! We loved it!  I’m sure some people would be offended by this, but I’m pretty sure I don’t care!

Fun with my turkey
“Who says you can’t be a little playful with your food?”

So speaking poultry, I make roast chicken at least once a week, because it’s so versatile and I can get one or two meals that morph from it.  Well there is a technique in cooking called splaying.  Which simply means you make an incision in the chicken at the legs and flatten out the legs, not to be confused with another culinary technique, I swear I didn’t make this up, but you see why I love cooking, and think there is so much eroticism in it?  The term is known as Spatchcocked, I promise, it’s a thing, it simply means you take the bird, chicken in this case, but you can do this with turkey or any game bird, you lay it on a cutting board breast side down, using force you flatten and break the bones you then remove the back bone, so that you can butterfly the bird for roasting, or grilling,  however, in this case this chicken is splayed and placed in a preheated cast iron skillet at 500 degrees to sear the legs, and thighs to allow for the dark meat to cook evenly in conjunction with the white meat.  Now I know what you’re thinking big deal, how is this different from my roast chicken it goes in an oven, yes, but while you allow the cast iron pan to come up to temp in the oven to 500 degrees, the pan is screaming hot, and it is searing the bottom of the chicken when it goes in, and this will yield the most flavorful, succulent, chicken ever, even the white meat is moist and delicious, I am investing in a bigger cast iron pan to accommodate the roasted veggies because I love one pot wonders!  They get me giddy with delight!

So how I came up with the spread eagle is that I prefer the chicken flatter than what is considered splaying.   Now when I did this the chicken was laid out before me, spread eagle, and just the sight of it, no I wasn’t drinking at that point, had me laughing  for ten minutes tears rolling down my face.  I even shared my picture with a friend because well, I’m perverted, and I know she is just as twisted as me.  But take the sexual innuendo out of the equation, I love the sultriness of playing with my food and the feelings it gives me.  Like when I roll meatballs, not just becasue I get to say balls, or that they are round like mounds, but honestly, the sheer delight of just using my hands makes me feel as one with my food, which is why I love making pizza dough, homemade pasta, breads, and biscuits, kneading dough is so therapeutic! I just love it!

I can remember growing up, when playing with my food was frowned upon and made my mother lose it, when I would construct things with my food.  Maybe this is where the obsession lies?  I just revel in the fact that I get to create meals, desserts, and play with recipes on a daily basis, and no one yells at me for it!!  The way I see it, we are here for such a very short time why not make it sexy, why not make it fabulous, why not savor it all?


Susan xoxo



spread eagle.jpg
Spread Eagle Cast Iron Skillet Roast Chicken  Credit:



Spread Eagle Cast Iron Skillet Roast Chicken

  • Servings: 5-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A classic technique for yielding the most perfectly juicy chicken!

Credit: Mangieri-Maurath

** A large cast iron skillet is a must for this chicken, mine was 18 inch, a 5lb. chicken fit perfect but a 22 inch would have been better for adding more veggies.


  • 5 lb. chicken patted dry
  • 1/2 of a small lemon cut in half. (2- 1/4 pieces)
  • baby carrots
  • 3 peeled and quartered baking potato
  • 2 small onions quartered
  • chopped fresh parsley and thyme
  • a mix of the following:  1 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder, 1 tsp. of Italian Seasoning, 1 1/2 tsp. of spicy Adobo seasoning or substitute Cajun seasoning, or cayenne
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. of unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and black cracked pepper to taste




  1. Heat a large cast iron skillet to temperature in a 500 degree oven.
  2. With chicken on a flat surface, such as a cutting board, using a sharp knife, make two incisions on both sides of the thigh and leg bone with the chicken breast side up, the area between where the thigh meets the breast. Flatten legs completely.  Insert a 1/4 of a lemon wedge inside the leg hollow on both sides.
  3. Mix dry seasonings and salt and pepper.  Rub the chicken top and bottom with mixture.
  4. With oven mitts or pot holders, carefully remove HOT skillet from oven
  5. Place the chicken in the hot pan making sure the thighs touch the pan flat,
  6. Surround the chicken with the veg mix, add parsley, thyme and season the veg with salt and pepper.
  7. Generously drizzle with olive oil, the chicken and vegetables.
  8. Return to oven and roast for about 1 hour or until a meat thermometer registers 180 degrees F. One hour should be plenty if your oven is working optimally.  Adjust if using a smaller bird to maybe 45 min. for 4 1/2 lb. chicken.  The chef in me likes to finish the chicken and veg off with some butter.  Just a bit makes a tasty sauce, and takes this over the top!
  9. Let rest for about 15 min. then carve, serve, devour!



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