Butterflied Chicken

Recipe by Gay Gilmore




  • Position the oven rack 8 inches from the flame/coil and turn broiler to high.
  • Crack peppercorns with a mortar and pestle until coarsely ground.
  • Add garlic and salt and work well.
  • Add lemon zest and just enough oil to form a paste.
  • Cut vegetables into pieces and place in a deep roasting pan.
  • Place chicken on a plastic cutting board breast-side down.
  • Using kitchen shears, cut ribs down one side of back bone and then the other and remove.
  • Open chicken like a book and remove the keel bone separating the breast halves by slicing through the thin membrane covering it, then by placing two fingers underneath the bone and levering it out.
  • Turn chicken breast-side up and spread out like a butterfly by pressing down on the breast and pulling the legs towards you.
  • Loosen the skin at the neck and the edges of the thighs.
  • Evenly distribute the garlic mixture under the skin, saving 2 teaspoons for the jus.
  • Drizzle the skin with oil and rub in, being sure to cover the bird evenly.
  • Drizzle oil on bone side of chicken as well.
  • Arrange bird in roasting pan, breast up, atop vegetables.
  • Place pan in oven being sure to leave the oven door ajar.
  • Check bird in 10 minutes.
  • If the skin is a dark mahogany, hold the drumstick ends with paper towels and flip bone-side up.
  • Cook 12-15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  • Juices must run clear.
  • Remove and place chicken into a deep bowl and cover loosely with foil.
  • Tilt pan so that any fat will pool at corner.
  • Siphon this off with a bulb baster.
  • (This fat is great in vinaigrettes).
  • Set pan over 2 burners set on high.
  • Deglaze pan with a few shots of red wine and scrape brown bits from bottom using a carrot chunk held with tongs.
  • Add chicken stock, thyme, the remaining garlic paste and reduce briefly to make a jus.
  • Strain out vegetables and discard.
  • Slice chicken onto plates or serve in quarters.
  • Sauce lightly with jus and serve.