What’s wrong with this picture? Here’s a subtle prank to pull on your dinner guests: serve them a four-legged chicken and wait until someone says, “Umm….” Sometimes it takes people a while.
This recipe requires two whole chickens, but the breast halves of the chickens are not used. First, it is necessary to detached the skin from the midsection of the chickens, which can be done by gently sliding one’s hands in the space between the skin and the body. Start at the neck and work towards the thighs until the skin is detached from the midsection, but do not detach it from the area around the thighs or cut it off. Kitchen shears are helpful to cut the connective tissue without tearing the skin. Then, cut the chicken in half across the exposed body, so that there is one half with both thighs and the other half with both wings.
Next, sew the two halves containing the thighs together with cotton (not polyester) thread. A leather-working needle or other curved needle is very helpful. The stitch used here is similar to the overcast stitch. Try to sew through as much of the thickness of the meat as possible so that the stitches cannot be easily ripped out.
Finally, cut the chicken skin that is most damaged off. Lay the other chicken skin across both chickens to hide the stitches.
Once the two chicken halves are sewn together, any recipe for baked, roasted or grilled whole chicken will do. We tied the legs with twine and stuffed the chicken with potato and onions,. We seasoned it with Montreal Steak Seasoning and then followed a modified version of the recipe in CookWise: The Hows & Whys of Successful Cooking. We didn’t brine it or bake it on its side, but we did baste it with butter and molasses.
We were worried that the stitches would not hold the chicken together sufficiently when it was flipped during baking, but it was not a problem at all. In fact, the chicken held together well even while being devoured by five ravenous people!