A crapaud is a toad, which is what this chicken looks like when its backbone is removed and it’s flattened, like a toad that’s about to hop! But don’t worry, it will sit still as you rub butter under its skin, then slather it with a gorgeously piquant mixture of mustard and peppers, à la diable. Why go to the effort of removing the backbone? Well, it’s no effort first of all; once you get the hang of cutting out the backbone, you’ll do it with your eyes closed, in seconds. Second of all by flattening it out, it cooks evenly over the coals and ends up looking intriguingly delicious. Serve this with a delicious micro-brew, one that’s not too dark.
ASTUCE: remember to cut the bones at either side of the base of the neck, so that you can flatten the chicken easily. And if you want this truly “devilish” you’ll likely want to increase the amount of spicy smoked paprika and piment d’Espelette.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: poultry shears or heavy chef’s knife, pastry brush (for brushing butter and mustard mixture on chicken), tongs, gloves.
PREPARATION AND COOKING TIME: about 1-1/2 hours
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: moderate
** If using anchovy fillets in oil from Collioure, or other excellent quality anchovies, there is no need to soak the fillets in the white wine, which is done simply to remove some of their salt. If using anchovy fillets packed in salt, the soaking is necessary. Place the anchovies in a shallow bowl and cover them with the wine. Let them sit for 15 minutes, then drain and pat dry.