A chicken that has had it’s spine and ribs removed and when splayed flat looks like a butterfly.
Cooks faster and is relatively easy to do on your own. You can Google it, YouTube it or even better, have a butcher do it for you.
I’ve found that having a good pair of kitchen shears (for cutting chicken), a sharp carving or deboning knife as well as having a disposition to try something new in the kitchen works very well. My past forays in butterflying the chicken has simply been to split the chicken at the back and leaving the backbone in. Less messy and quick. However, if you do feel up to it, removing the backbone is very simple.
I’ve put together a collage of some of the basic steps needed to debone the chicken. Then it is just a matter of dressing it up and putting it in the oven. It can be grilled or barbequed.
Herb de Provence Spatchcock (Butterfly Chicken)
2 small chickens or cornish hens (ones I used were about 800g each. You can use a regular sized chicken instead)
Half a lemon
Rub: Herb de Provence
1 tablespoon Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender flowers
- First to remove the backbone & ribs of the chickens.
- place chicken breast down on a cutting board.
- using your fingers to run on the backbone.
- use kitchen shears to cut along the sides of the backbone on both sides. Remove the backbone and set aside, it can be used to make chicken stock
- open it up and use a carving or sharp knife to lift the ribs off. Remove ribs and set together with the backbone.
- flip the chicken so the skin side is facing you. Use the kitchen shears and cut off the tips of the wing, set together with the backbone.
- Wash and dry your spatchcock chicken. Place on roasting dish.
- Repeat with the other chicken.
2. Mix all the Herb de Provence rub together in a bowl.
3. Rub on both sides of the chicken. Place chickens skin side up.
4. Drizzle olive oil over the chickens.
5. Squeeze the lemon juice over the chickens.
6. Roast in preheated oven of 190ºC (375ºF) for 40-50 minutes.
7. Allow to rest for about 10-15 minutes before cutting into quarters or halves for serving.