Oven Roasted Butterflied Chicken

This Recipe article details how you prepare your poultry for the oven, and a good recipe too!

Do you get bored with those bags of frozen chicken breasts?  Want something that tastes and looks really rustic?  Well why not super slow roast a chunk of chicken?  This recipe requires butterflying the chicken, for both presentation reasons and because I’m cooking in a toaster oven.  So what’s butterflying?  It’s cutting a piece of meat so that it is in 2 equal pieces.  When you’re using a whole chicken, butterflying means cutting out the spine and then the meat lays flat in 2 equal halves.  You lose a little bit of the flavor that would come from roasting it with the spine in, but the spine can also be used to make a stock for Chicken Noodle Soup with your left overs, which is exactly what I did.

This is actually a 2 part article, the other part is how to make a stock from the chicken spine!

Without further ado, here is the recipe for a delicious slow roasted chicken that tastes like it was cooked on a spit for a whole day!


  • 1 Whole Fryer Chicken (Around 4lbs)
  • 1/3 Cup of Butter! WOO
  • 1 Tbsp Rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Mustard
  • 1.5 Tbsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Onion Powder
  • 2 Tsp Thyme
  • 3 Cloves Garlic! WOO AGAIN!!!
  • 4 Small Red Potatoes Chopped into Cubes


  • Open whatever package your Chicken is in, rinse it and empty out the giblets.  Pat dry with paper towel
  • Lay the Chicken on its belly, and using boning scissors, cut up along both sides of the spine until you can pull out the whole vertebrae
  • In a bowl mix together the dry ingredients
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees
  • Now’s the fun and messy part.  Flip the bird and put your whole hand underneath the skin on the breast, detaching the skin from the meat.  Do this to both sides of the breast
  • Now rub that butter all over everrrrrrrrryyyy inch of the Chicken
  • Be sure to put 2 little patties of butter under the breast skin, at least 2 tsp butter each side
  • Could it get even dirtier?  I think so!
  • Pour the seasoning over the whole bird, use half on the bottom side and half on the top, rub it all over until it’s quite thoroughly buttered/seasoned
  • Get a small baking dish that the bird barely fits in, under the bird lay out all the potatoes so they cook in the buttery bird juice
  • Put the bird on top of the potatoes and cover the whole thing with foil
  • Poke a couple little steam holes
  • Put it in the oven for about 8 hours, that’s right. . . 8 hours.  Check the temperature after 3 hours, then you can bump it up to 300 degrees.  When the meat gets up to 175 degrees in the thigh meat, pull out the beast and let it sit for about 10 minutes while you turn the oven up to 450
  • put the bird back in for another 10-20 minutes, and baste it with the juices until you’ve got a crusty skin.  You can also use the broiler, but I’m cooking in a toaster oven here!
  • When it looks good to your eyes and your stomach can’t wait anymore feast on the beast with the potatoes underneath

Now that you know how to butterfly a chicken, you can also quarter it if you would like.  That’s when you follow the meat on the breast and cut where the breast and thigh meat at the joint.  To do so, pop the joint that connects the 2 pieces and take either a sharp knife or your boning scissors and cut through the joint opening and separate the breast and thigh.  Before you can do this though, it’s important to cut the butterflied chicken in half down the center of the sternum.  Use the boning scissors and cut down the center, then cut off your thigh, now you’ll have 2 breasts/wings and 2 legs/thighs.  You can pop the joints where the wings and legs connect and cut there also and you have a perfectly segmented chicken.

Another good thing to do with poultry like chicken is brining it overnight before preparing.  This requires boiling water, adding salt and a variety of seasonings you like, a bay leaf also adds good flavor, and just simmering until all the ingredients are combined.  Then pour the liquid into a bowl with ice and get it to room temperature or lower so it doesn’t cook the meat.  Submerge the meat in the brining liquid, cover and store in your fridge overnight.  The resulting meat will be much harder to overcook, as every inch of the chicken will be penetrated with the brining solution.  Be sure to pat the meat dry before seasoning and cooking!


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