I am a big believer that the best recipes are the ones that don’t need 50 ingredients to make it delicious. About 15 years ago, we were making something from a magazine and there had to be 20 ingredients. It was nuts and the sad part was that after all the work, the recipe fell flat. It was just fine, but it wasn’t something we would even try to make again. You’ll notice most of our recipes have just a few ingredients. We just feel like it is going to taste good or it isn’t. Adding more and more seasoning and spices isn’t going to fix a so-so recipe no matter how hard you keep trying. That is the theme with this grilled butterflied whole chicken.
How to Butterfly a Whole Chicken
If you have never butterflied a chicken before, let’s get started! We have a few shots below to show you and also a youtube video if you prefer to stream it.
Start off by rinsing your chicken and patting it dry. Place the chicken on a platter or sheet pan. Place the chicken breast side down. You can see and feel the spine that runs up and down the chicken. You are going to use your kitchen shears to cut away the small bones on either side of the spine. Start with the opening at the tail end and cut just to one side of the spine. If you are right-handed, cut on the right-hand side of the spine.
You will see after one or two cuts that it actually cuts pretty easy and you can speed it up a bit. Just keep the shears right next to the spine. Once you have cut to the end, spin the chicken around and do it again on hte other side.
Congratulations! You have just cut away the spine of the whole chicken and can now open it up in a butterfly fashion. Use a paper towel to remove any excess juices.
How to Prepare the Chicken for Grilling
Once you have butterflied the chicken, melt the butter and mince the garlic. Combine the two ingredients and brush both sides of the chicken. These two ingredients make the chicken shine and create a crispy skin that is delicious!
Easy Steps to Grill the Chicken
Set up your grill with indirect heat. On the Big Green Egg, I used the plate setter. Bring the temperature up to 325 degrees.
After the temperature stabilizes, place the butterflied chicken on the grating, skin side down.
If you have some extra garlic butter, go ahead and spread some more on now. You just can’t go wrong with more butter and garlic, right?
Leave the chicken on the grill for 15 minutes. The skin should be golden brown and a bit crispy.
Turn the chicken over and cook for another 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
That’s it! This is a very easy, but delicious recipe!
How Can I Meal Prep this Chicken
There is just about always a way to meal prep just about any meal! Here are a couple of ways just in case you need to speed up the process!
- Mince the garlic and store it in a container
- Butterfly the chicken, cover and place in the refrigerator ahead of time. It might save you five minutes, but we all get busy, so I will take what I can get!
What Can I Do With Leftover Grilled Whole Butterflied Chicken
I doubt there will be much left over – but just in case, here are a couple of ideas! The taste is delicious, and mild enough for the following ideas:
- Chicken salad on cucumbers using dried cranberries
- Chicken salad inside celery cutting everything super small to fit
- Lettuce wraps using halved grapes and chicken salad
- Use the chicken to stuff zucchini combining onions, parmesan, mayonnaise or cream cheese to bind it together
- Shred it and add to your favorite chili
- Use the Smoked Trout Dip recipe and instead of trout, use the chicken. Use crackers or baguettes to spread. If you don’t have enough, halve the recipe!
- Sheet pan nachos-this one is great because if you only have a small portion, add beans as your protein a well and nobody will notice you didn’t have enough chicken!
- Make a pasta salad and add shredded chicken to it.
- 3 lb whole chicken
- 4 tbsp butter melted
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- Preheat grill to indirect heat to 325 degrees
- Remove the spine of the backbone of the chicken by cutting right near the spine on each side to allow the chicken to lay flat using kitchen shears.
- Combine the melted butter and garlic and brush on the chicken both sides.
- Place on grill with the skin side down for 15 minutes. The skin should be a nice golden brown color
- Turn the chicken over and finish cooking for another 20 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees