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.

cooked whole chicken on a pan

Butterflied Chicken 


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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!

uncooked Butterflied Chicken on a pan

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.

  1. Prep: Remove neck and giblets from the cavity and place breast side down on the cutting board.
  2. 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.
  3. Cook: Season and place it on a prepared baking sheet. Bake until a meat thermometer registers 165° degrees internally.

Allow the chicken to rest 10 minutes before carving. Then serve with your favorite side dishes like Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower or Easy Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

hand sprinkling seasoning Butterflied Chicken

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.

cooked Butterflied Chicken on a pan topped with parsley


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

cooked whole chicken on a pan
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Butterflied Chicken

This easy butterfly chicken is so tender and juicy and much faster to bake making for an easy weeknight meal!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4
Author Holly



  • 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.
5 from 4 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 481kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 134mg | Potassium: 381mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 346IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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About the author

At Easy Low Carb® we believe that every meal should be full of big bold flavor! From amazing main dishes and simple sides to the best party snacks, reducing carbs doesn’t mean giving up your favorites!
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