The Larousse Gastronomique food and cooking encyclopedia says that en crapaudine is a way to prepare a small chicken or, especially, a pigeon. I've never cooked a pigeon, but I've eaten "squab" in restaurants. Anyway, Walt and I prepared and cooked a poulet en crapaudine a few days ago. He cooked it over indirect heat on the barbecue grill. The French word crapaud, which crapaudine is derived from, means "toad" — the chicken or pigeon ends up looking a little like an overgrown toad or frog.
In America, you might call this a "butterflied" chicken or even a "flattened" chicken. It's a very easy to do. I use kitchen scissors and cut up one side of the backbone of a whole chicken (starting next to "the pope's nose") and then cut it up the other side to complete remove the backbone (make stock with it). Use a big sharp knife to make a small cut in the hard part of the breast bone of the bird. That will make it lie flat.
Another thing you can do to make it easier to put the flattened chicken on the barbecue grill and then turn it over during cooking is run a long skewer through the thighs and legs, across the width of the bird, to hold it together. Sorry, no photo of that. We seasoned the chicken well on both sides with a spice blend we made ourselves, along with some garlic powder and onion powder. Spice blend recipe below...
While the chicken was cooking on the grill, I made a side dish of glazed carrots for us to have with it. Walt had bought a nice bunch of baby carrots — true baby carrots, not the ones that are the ground-down cores of big carrots — at the open-air market the day before. I didn't peel them but just scrubbed and washed them to get them ready. Then I cooked them in a steamer pot.
When the carrots were cooked — les carottes sont cuites is a French expression meaning something like "the time has come" or "we're good to go" — I melted some butter in a pan, put in a tablespoon of "raw" sugar (cassonade) and some salt and pepper, and then I glazed the cooked carrots in that mixture. Add a spoonful or two of water to dissolve the sugar (or use honey) and when the water has all evaporated, les carottes sont... glacées. Sprinkle on some fresh chives.
Here's the cooked poulet en crapaudine, which we had seasoned with this Arabic spice blend of powdered spices before cooking. I found the recipe on the internet years ago, and for us now it's a standard blend. Here's a link, and here's another to make a larger quantity of the spice blend.
Arabic (Lebanese) Spice Blend
All the spices are in powdered form.
2 tablespoons each : black pepper – paprika – cumin
1 tablespoon each : coriander seed – cloves (girofle)
1 teaspoon each : nutmeg – cinnamon
½ teaspoon : cardamom