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Alan in Ga
09-22-2011, 03:45 PM
I will be cooking my first IBCA contest next month and have never done a half Chicken for a comp before. What would be the best way to cook and present half a bird that has to be eaten with a fork and knife....

Matt_A
09-22-2011, 03:51 PM
Spatchcock a whole chicken and the present half of it. (or both halves if the contest is big enough)

thillin
09-22-2011, 06:39 PM
What cookers do you have available?

I cook halves and am picky when i pick them out. I try to cook 4 halves and turn in the best 1 or 2 as needed. I use toothpicks to hold the skin down over the breast. Be sure to remove all when done.

Here, it needs flavor to the bone and needs to be juicy. Fine line between a winning bird and under cooked sometimes.

Funtimebbq
09-22-2011, 07:28 PM
Another reminder is to not cut the tip of the wing off. Try to tuck it in or put some foil on it. If there is no mention about that in the cook's meeting, make sure you ask. Don't assume you can cut it off.

Good luck and have fun,

Benny

gmholler
09-23-2011, 08:54 AM
Another reminder is to not cut the tip of the wing off. Try to tuck it in or put some foil on it. If there is no mention about that in the cook's meeting, make sure you ask. Don't assume you can cut it off.

Actually, some butchers around here sell chicken like that; I've never heard of a cooker cutting off the wingtip purposely. There's a place in town that cuts the tips off and bends the wings so they can display the chicken in this position they must feel is attractive, or maybe there's some reason for it; it just looks weird to me!

They will tell you at the cooks' meeting just how much chicken you need to turn in. If they don't, ASK. The amount varies with the number of teams in the contest, but if this is the contest I'm thinking of, I don't think you'll need more than a half chicken.

At any rate, cook your chicken in halves. Usually one whole chicken is sufficient for a contest. Just be sure when you turn in that your chicken is completely cooked - all over, not just at the top. Many judges get freaked out when they see ANYTHING that might indicate an undercooked bird; in general we use the blot test and see if the fluids run clear.

Also, it's probably a good idea to cut out the backbone of the chicken, as the box MUST close and some birds are so large that's about the only way you'll get it to close!

Lynn H.

RangerJ
09-23-2011, 09:27 AM
I would go with thrillin's suggestion of 2 birds. Out of those 4 halves, I always find that two just don't end up looking right, either because I messed up when butchering or the limbs ( wings, legs) just aren't right on the body.

Two will look good, but by the end of the cooking process 1 has risen to the top and is going to be used for turn in. Check internal temps and I take that one half straight from the pit to the box for turn in.

Good luck!