How to butterfly a chicken

November 13, 2023
by Nadine F. In de keuken

    Lean and high in protein, chicken has become a weeknight staple for many households. One way of preparing and enjoying chicken is to ‘butterfly’ it. Butterflying is a technique usually done to a chicken breast or whole chicken, where the chicken is split horizontally and opened like a book. This way the chicken can be stuffed with delicious fillings or marinated in spices, as well as cooked quickly and more evenly. There are many ways you to butterfly a chicken, including this recipe for butterflied chicken with feta leek and minted potatoes.

    How to butterfly a chicken breast

    Butterflying a chicken breast requires a chopping board, cling film and a sharp knife. Once you have these essentials, follow the simple instructions below.

    1. Place the chicken breast on a chopping board, with your hand flat on top, in order to help you cut it safely and evenly.
    2. Using a sharp knife, cut into one side of the chicken breast, starting from the thickest end slicing through to the thinnest point. Make sure you don’t cut all the way through the meat, as this will prevent the breast from being butterflied.
    3. Open out the breast into a butterfly shape.
    4. Take the cling film and place it over the chicken, then lightly bash it with a rolling pin (or whatever you have on hand in the kitchen) to create an even thickness.
    5. Coat it with your choice of herbs and spices or leave it to marinate for up to 24 hours, then bake in the oven at 200°C for around 20-25 minutes.

    How to butterfly a whole chicken

    Cooking a whole chicken can be time-consuming. Butterflying (or spatchcocking, as some people call it) is an easy way to cut your chicken cooking time in half. To butterfly a chicken, you’ll need poultry shears or a very sharp knife.

    1. Place the whole chicken on a chopping board, breast down, with the legs facing towards you.
    2. Using one hand, hold down the chicken tail, then use the other to cut down one side of the backbone, all the way to the neck with your shears or knife.
    3. Turn the chicken so the legs are facing away and cut the collarbone in half.
    4. Flip the chicken over so it’s facing breast side up, and firmly press the breast with both hands to flatten it.
    5. Now the butterflying is complete, you’re ready to marinade and cook the chicken in any way you like.

    How to cook butterflied chicken

    HelloFresh’s recipe development manager, Mimi Morely, says, “You can cook butterflied chicken in a multitude of ways. If it’s a full butterflied chicken, you may want to grill, roast or berbecue it to keep in those juicy flavours. For a delectable treat, consider pan-frying a butterflied chicken breast to get a lovely crisp on the skin. There are so many different ways you can flavour your chicken too, like the ever-popular peri peri seasoning for those who like a little bit of a kick. Or try a range of delicious ways to stuff your chicken, such as with spinach and ricotta or sausages.

    All cooking appliances vary. These are guidelines only. Ensure the food is piping hot before serving. Do not reheat.

    Butterfly chicken recipes

    Now you know how to perfectly butterfly your chicken, here are some easy and tasty recipes you can follow to try out your new skill.

    All food products vary. The instructions printed on the food packaging always supersedes those printed in this article and must always be followed.
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