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Whole Barbecued Butterflied Chicken

whole chicken, 3 and a half to 4 pounds
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
6 tablespoon s
Dry Rub
Spicy Barbecue Sauce
fresh herb sprigs such as parsley or cilantro, for garnish
  1. Place chicken on cutting board. Carefully use sharp, heavy knife to cut of head and neck at base of neck and feet at end of drumstick joint, if necessary. Cut off wing tips at their joints. 
  2. Insert knife at neck opening and cut down firmly through rib bones, meat, and skin along either side of backbone. Pull out backbone. Place chicken breast down. 
  3. Open up to expose breastbone. Cut down through membrane and partially through breastbone and cartilage along its length, taking care not to cut through meat or skin. Pull out breastbone and cartilage. 
  4. Keeping sharp edge against bone, cut along underside of ribcage on both sides to remove. 
  5. With boning knife, keeping edge against bone, carefully cut through leg meat to expose bone. Pull out leg bones, cutting carefully through meat, membranes, and tendons. 
  6. Place chicken skin down in dish or tray. Drizzle meat generously with olive oil. 
  7. Sprinkle meat with half of Dry Rub mixture. With hands, rub seasonings firmly into meat. 
  8. Turn chicken skin up. Drizzle skin with more oil. Sprinkle with remaining Dry Rub. Rub seasonings firmly into skin. 
  9. Prepare fire in outdoor grill. When fire is hot, drizzle chicken skin side with more oil. Place chicken skin down on cooking grid directly over fire. 
  10. Cook until skin is deep brown and crispy, about 8 minutes, lifting chicken with long-handled grill fork or tongs to check. 
  11. Turn chicken over, moving it to cooler portion of grid away from direct heat. Cover grill, or cover chicken with large metal pan or domed pot lid. 
  12. Continue grilling until cooked through, with juices running clear when thickest part of thigh meat is pierced with fork or registers 160°F on instant-read grill thermometer, about 8 minutes longer. 
  13. About 5 minutes before chicken is done, brush skin generously with Spicy Barbecue Sauce. 
  14. With tongs, transfer chicken to cutting board. Use heavy knife to cut through skin and meat into 8 serving pieces. Transfer to platter, garnish with herbs, and serve, passing more sauce at table.

Note: Serves 4-8

Average: 1.5 (2 votes)

About this Recipe

Butterflying—a term that means cutting out a whole chickens backbone and then opening it up and flattening it to look like the wings of a butterfly—and then removing most of its bones helps to give the chicken a uniform thickness, so both white meat and dark meat cook evening and quickly on the grill. I like to add a Dry Rub (see separate recipe) to the chicken before it goes on the grill, and then baste it with my Spicy Barbecue Sauce (see separate recipe) toward the end of cooking. The last few minutes of cooking are also a good time to grill some vegetables, such as corn on the cob, to serve with the chicken if you like.