Why buy separate parts and pieces of chicken when prepping the whole bird is so easy and economical? This Butterflied Chicken recipe is the perfect way to cook tender, succulent, flavorful chicken every time!
Spatchcock is a fun word to use instead of butterfly, but the terms are used interchangeably in recipes. It means to flatten the chicken in a way that the entire bird can be cooked at the same time and all the pieces come out evenly cooked.
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Why We Love Butterflied Chicken
- Low carb butterflied chicken is a great recipe for baking low carb veggies with a couple of lemon wedges on the same pan!
- Make an entire entrée by adding Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower, Easy Roasted Brussels Sprouts, or Roasted Asparagus.
- Grilled, roasted, baked, bbq’d, or even pan-fried in a heavy cast iron pan, butterflied chicken is an easy way to guarantee the entire chicken gets cooked evenly with zero guesswork!
Ingredients and Variations
CHICKEN: Choose whole birds that are plump, with the skin intact and no ‘fowl’ odor (sorry, I could not resist that one)! A good practice bird for spatchcocking/butterflying is Cornish game hens. They are easier to handle because they are small and less expensive. They can always be tossed into a big pot for chicken soup if it doesn’t work out! But duck, pheasant, and turkey are also good birds for butterflying.
SEASONINGS: Poultry seasonings or rubs for chicken are lighter than beef or pork seasonings. Lots of lighter herbs like thyme, sage, rosemary, and salt and pepper. For a change in flavor try using these great all-purpose, low-carb rubs that are perfect for butterflied chicken: Keto Dry Rub Recipe, Southwest Seasoning, or Homemade Taco Seasoning!
Best Way to Butterfly Chicken
The best butterfly chicken starts with the best prep! So be sure to use a sharp set of scissors and a clean cutting board to get started.
- Prep: Remove neck and giblets from the cavity and place breast side down on the cutting board.
- Butterfly: Remove the backbone (per recipe below) and turn the chicken breast side up. Using the palm of your hand, press down until the breast bone snaps. Fold the wings under.
- Cook: Season and place it on a prepared baking sheet. Bake until a meat thermometer registers 165° degrees internally.
How Long to Bake Butterflied Chicken
Depending on the size of the chicken, bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The best way to determine how long a chicken needs to bake is to use a meat thermometer to check if the internal temperature has reached 165°F. Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken, the breasts, avoiding any bones for an accurate read.
Chicken Tips & Tricks
- For safety, always place a clean kitchen towel under the cutting board to secure it.
- Use sharp shears that can easily cut through meat to avoid injury.
- Don’t let the backbone go to waste, freeze in a zippered bag and save for future stocks. Low Carb Cauliflower Soup, anyone?
- Always bake chicken in the center of the oven so the heated air can circulate evenly around the meat.
Leftover butterflied chicken is perfect in so many different recipes, from salads to sammies, to soups! Cut the leftover pieces up and store them in an airtight container or freeze them in individual bags for easy, grab-and-go use anytime!
Favorite Chicken Recipes
- Melt In Your Mouth Chicken – delicious parmesan crust!
- Air Fryer Roast Chicken – perfectly tender & juicy.
- Roasted Chicken Breast – just 5 simple ingredients!
- Low Carb Chicken Tenders – so easy to prepare.
- 1 whole chicken about 4 pounds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chicken seasoning or rub
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Remove neck and giblets from the cavity if they are included.
- Place chicken on a cutting board, breast side down so the backbone is facing up. Using scissors, cut along each side of the backbone to remove it completely.
- Flip the chicken over so the breast side is up. Using your palms, press on the breast bone to flatten it. It should crack as it flattens. Fold the wing tips under the chicken.
- Place on a large baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with seasoning.
- Roast the chicken for 45-50 minutes or until it reaches 165°F internally.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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