Butterflied Tuscan Lemon Chicken

4 servings
4 hr 35 min

A whole chicken butterflied and marinated in a delicious lemon-rosemary sauce, then grilled to perfection. Butterflied Chicken is a faster and more even way to cook the light and dark meat. You’ll love the grilled lemon halves served on the side!!!

WHAT IS A BUTTERFLIED CHICKEN?


  • Butterflied Chicken means to spilt or cut the chicken almost all the way through to make two equal halves. Once flattened the result looks like “butterfly wings”. To butterfly a whole chicken, the backbone is cut out, then the chicken is flattened skin-side down and the breast bone is removed. Because the Butterflied Chicken lays flat, it has maximum exposure to heat, resulting in crispier skin and a more even cooking of the breast and thigh meat. Butterflied Chicken is also a fast way to cook a whole chicken in the oven or on the grill.


INGREDIENTS TO MAKE BUTTERFLIED TUSCAN LEMON CHICKEN


  • Whole chicken, butterflied (*see notes to DIY or have the butcher butterfly the chicken)
  • Olive oil
  • Lemons, zested and juiced
  • Garlic
  • Fresh rosemary, minced
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt

HOW TO MAKE BUTTERFLIED TUSCAN LEMON CHICKEN


  • Sprinkle each side of the butterflied chicken with 1 teaspoon salt.
  • In a 13×9-inch glass or ceramic dish, add olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, rosemary, and ground black pepper.
  • Add the butterflied whole chicken; turning to coat both sides.
  • Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to overnight; turn once or twice while refrigerator.
  • Prepare gas grill on low heat or a hot charcoal fire moved to one side of the grill (indirect heat).
  • Place the chicken skin-side up (on the cooler side of the grill if using charcoal) and place two cast iron skillets or a large heavy brick wrapped in foil on top of the chicken to weigh it down.
  • Cook for 12-15 minutes until the underside is golden brown.
  • Turn the chicken over, skin- side down, place the skillets or heavy brick on top again, and grill for another 12-15 minutes.
  • Place the lemon halves, cut side down, for the second half of the cooking time.
  • The chicken will be done when the skin is a golden brown and an instant-read thermometer reads 165°F.
  • Place the whole grilled chicken on a large cutting board, tent with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting.
  • Remove the grilled lemon halves, being careful not to squeeze them over the grill.
  • Cut the whole chicken into quarters.
  • If the chicken is large or if you want smaller servings, cut the legs from the thighs and cut the breasts in half crosswise.
  • Serve each piece of chicken with a grilled lemon half.

NOTES


  • HOW TO BUTTERFLY A WHOLE CHICKEN: 1. Stand the chicken upright on a large cutting board. Using a sharp chef knife or kitchen scissors, cut down each side of the backbone (save back bone in refrigerator or freezer to make a chicken stock). 2. Lay the whole chicken flat cut-side open. Using a boning knife or kitchen scissors, cut around the breast bone (the cartilage between the bottom of the breasts) and remove it.
  • IMPORTANT! Have the butcher butterfly the whole chicken for you.
  • OPTIONAL: The leftover marinade can be used as a sauce. After removing the raw chicken, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and heat over low heat for 5-8 minutes. Drizzle over the cut up chicken for more flavor!

Butterflied Tuscan Lemon Chicken

Recipe details

  • 4  servings
  • Prep time: 4 Hours Cook time: 35 Minutes Total time: 4 hr 35 min
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Ingredients


  • 1 (3½-8 lb) whole chicken, butterflied (*see notes)
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 2 Tbsps garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsps fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • 3-4 lemons, halved crosswise (to be grilled)

Instructions


Sprinkle each side of the butterflied chicken with 1 teaspoon salt. In a 13×9-inch glass or ceramic dish, add olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, rosemary, and ground black pepper. Add the butterflied whole chicken; turning to coat both sides. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to overnight; turn once or twice while refrigerator.
Prepare gas grill on low heat or a hot charcoal fire moved to one side of the grill (indirect heat). Place the chicken skin-side up (on the cooler side of the grill if using charcoal) and place two cast iron skillets or a large heavy brick wrapped in foil on top of the chicken to weigh it down.
Cook for 12-15 minutes until the underside is golden brown. Turn the chicken over, skin- side down, place the skillets or heavy brick on top again, and grill for another 12-15 minutes. Place the lemon halves, cut side down, for the second half of the cooking time. The chicken will be done when the skin is a golden brown and an instant-read thermometer reads 165°F.
Place the whole grilled chicken on a large cutting board, tent with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting. Remove the grilled lemon halves, being careful not to squeeze them over the grill.
Cut the whole chicken into quarters. If the chicken is large or if you want smaller servings, cut the legs from the thighs and cut the breasts in half crosswise. Serve each piece of chicken with a grilled lemon half.

Tips

  • HOW TO BUTTERFLY A WHOLE CHICKEN: 1. Stand the chicken upright on a large cutting board. Using a sharp chef knife, cut down each side of the backbone (save back bone in refrigerator or freezer to make a chicken stock). 2. Lay the whole chicken flat cut-side open. Using a boning or chef knife, cut around the breast bone (the cartilage between the bottom of the breasts) and remove it.
  • IMPORTANT! Have the butcher butterfly the whole chicken for you.
  • OPTIONAL: The leftover marinade can be used as a sauce. After removing the raw chicken, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and heat over low heat for 5-8 minutes. Drizzle over the cut up chicken for more flavor!
The Grove Bend Kitchen
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