How To Butterfly A Whole Chicken – Video

A wonderfully easy and frugal meal that I often recommend for feeding a hungry family is cooking a whole chicken. With a few hearty sides, like baked potatoes and a vegetable or salad, a 3 to 4 pound chicken should feed a family of four.

To make roasting a chicken even easier (and faster) I often use a technique in which I “butterfly” the chicken. This is nothing more than flattening the chicken out to make it lay out in the roasting pan. It then roasts more evenly and in less time, and is easier to cut up and serve. Watch this video and the next time you’re struggling with something simple for dinner, give this method a try:

Or copy/paste this link to your browser:

You can search and find lots of recipes for butterflied chicken; roasted or grilled, with or without seasonings and vegetables. But my family really just enjoys a classic roast chicken. Here’s my simple “recipe” for oven-roasted butterflied chicken:

Oven-Roasted Butterflied Chicken
Recipe Type: Chicken
Author: Hillbilly Housewife
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 50 mins
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: 2 to 6
A chicken that’s butterflied roasts evenly and in less time than a whole chicken. If you are unsure about how to butterfly a chicken, be sure to watch the video in this post. Here is the link to save for future reference:
  • 3 to 4 lb chicken – butterflied
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • optional – other herbs and seasonings
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Butterfly the chicken, then rinse and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Rub with oil.
  4. Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper, inside and out.
  5. Place in LARGE cast iron skillet, breast side up. (Tuck wings underneath to keep them from burning up.)
  6. Roast for about 45 to 55 minutes.
  7. Remove and let stand for 5 minutes.
  8. Chicken is done when the juices run clear when pierced with a small knife tip.
  9. *You can use a meat thermometer to test for doneness; it should read 165 degrees.

Of course you can add vegetables under or around the chicken and add other seasonings and rubs. I have taken an herbed butter combination and rubbed it under the skin, too. But, this is the basic Go-To recipe that I use when I want an easy, tasty, and frugal dinner.

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