Butterflying, also known as spatchcocking, requires cutting open a whole chicken and removing the backbone and breastbone so that it can lay flat on the barbecue. A butterflied chicken cooks more quickly and evenly than an intact bird. This recipe calls for the chicken to be marinated in buttermilk for a moist and tender meat.

Yield: Serves 6.



  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 whole fryer chickens


  1. To prepare marinade, combine all ingredients except chickens; set aside.
  2. For each chicken, turn chicken back side up. Hold tail end and cut down both sides of backbone using poultry or kitchen shears; cut out and discard backbone. Turn chicken around and spread open. Using a boning knife, make an incision in cartilage above breastbone. Press up on breastbone and run a finger down and under sides of breastbone and cartilage to loosen. Pull out and discard breastbone and cartilage. Cut out and discard any excess fat.
  3. Place each chicken in a heavy zip-lock plastic bag. Pour half of marinade over each chicken and squeeze bags to coat chickens with marinade. Seal bags and place on a tray. Refrigerate, turning bags occasionally, for 24 hours.
  4. Preheat natural gas barbecue on medium heat for 10 - 15 minutes. Remove chickens from marinade; discard marinade. Grill chickens, bone side down, over low heat on natural gas barbecue for 1 1/4 hours. Turn chickens over and grill 15 minutes longer or until skin is golden brown and chickens are cooked through.
Nutritional analysis per serving:

356 calories, 9.4 g fat, 63.1 g protein, 0.5 g carbohydrate, 0 g fibre, 339 mg sodium

Tip: If desired, chicken pieces may be used instead of whole fryer chickens. Grill chicken pieces for a shorter period of time until chicken pieces are cooked through.