This Grilled Butterflied Whole Chicken is an excellent technique used to reduce grilling time and results in a more uniformed cook. It takes just a couple of easy steps!
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 in the recipe. It was nuts and the sad part was that after all the work, the recipe fell flat.
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.
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.
Step One: Start off by rinsing your chicken and patting it dry. Place the chicken on a platter or sheet pan breast side down. You can see and feel the spine that runs up and down the chicken.
Step Two: 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.
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.
Step Three: Once you have cut to the end, spin the chicken around and cut along the other side of the spine.
Congratulations! You have just cut away the spine of the whole chicken.
Step Four: Open up the chicken in a butterfly fashion. Use a paper towel to remove any excess juices. Press down fairly hard to flatten the chicken. You may hear a few “cracks” as it flattens.
🔥 Grilling Instructions
Step One: 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!
Step Two: Set up your grill with indirect heat. On the Big Green Egg, I used the plate setter. On a gas grill, turn off the middle burners. Bring the temperature up to 325 degrees.
Step Three: After the temperature stabilizes, place the butterflied chicken on the grating, skin side down.
Step Four: Leave the chicken on the grill for 15 minutes. The skin should be golden brown and a bit crispy.
Step Five: 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!
💡 Recipe Tips
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!
🧑🍳 Recipe Leftovers
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:
- 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.
Delicious Beer Can Chicken – We have been making Beer Can Chicken just like this for years. The chicken is dripping it is so juicy. You will be shocked how tender it is!
Asian BBQ Sauce Chicken Wings – This is a true classic in our house. We’ve been making this one over 15 years. We just made it again last month to take to a work function. These fly off the table and everyone loves them. We tend to double the batch when we make it.
Honey Mustard Glazed Bacon Chicken Bites – Oooooohhhh, these are INCREDIBLE and so easy! Just a couple of quick ingredients to make these in a skinny minute.
Grilled Butterflied Whole Chicken
- 3 lb Chicken whole
- 4 tbsp Butter melted
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
Prepare the Chicken
- Cut along both sides of the chicken's spine using kitchen shears.
- Remove the spine and push the chicken flat using a little bit of force. You may hear cracking as you push it flat.
Grill the Butterflied / Spatchcock Chicken
- Preheat grill to indirect heat to 325 degrees. For gas grills, turn off the center burners. For Kamado-Style grills, add a plate setter.
- 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
- Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving