The Corner Chronicle
Chimacum, Washington, Tuesday October 16, 2018
“Recipe of the Month” Butterflied Chicken!
March 29th, 2011 by Katy McCoy

by Hope Borsato (Catered from the Island)


Twelve hours of sunlight — the grill calls! “Butterflying” a chicken is a lovely method of cooking a whole bird on the grill.  It lies flat and therefore cooks evenly.  Simply, remove the backbone by cutting on both sides of the backbone and saving it for the stockpot. (Watch this YouTube video for clear instructions). Forage from your herb bed a blend of fresh rosemary, sage, new growth of oregano, thyme or utilize the dried herbs on hand. With just a few other ingredients, this can all be accomplished in less than 15 minutes. While the chicken cooks for 20 minutes, a side dish can be prepped. Dinner will be on the table in one hour. You’ll need a thermometer.

Serves 4-6

click here for print-ready PDF recipe


  • One SpringRain Farm whole chicken (~4-5 lbs)
  • 1 c freshly minced herbs or 1/3 c dried herbs (see above)
  • 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 fresh bay leaves (omit if not on hand)
  • juice from one large lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mince above by hand and mix in oil and lemon, or use a food processor for all.  If using fresh bay leaves, grind in processor or electric spice grinder.
  2. Remove backbone from chicken. Flatten it by pressing down with both hands. Season bird well by rubbing all of the above ingredients on both sides and even under the skin. Let rest 10 minutes.
  3. Heat bbq to medium heat. Lay bird directly on grill bone side down. Cook for 12 – 15 minutes, checking heat source once or twice. Turn completely over with large metal spatula/turner and cook for an additional 13 – 15 minutes, checking internal temperature at thickest parts so that it reads 155 – 158F. Carry over cooking will bring it up to 165F. Remove from grill, cover with “tented” foil and let rest 10 minutes. Ready to serve!
  4. Enjoy the grilled meat on its own, or with a traditional butter sauce, aioli, salsa verde, romesco or other favorite sauce. Make potatoes your favorite way and a salad to accompany your chicken.

BONUS: Another lovely spring dish — dessert is a RHUBARB FOOL!

I was out collecting herbs for the chicken and I noticed the red stems of the rhubarb standing upright nearly 8 inches out of ground and I couldn’t resist. So, without harvesting all of my first growth of rhubarb, I picked 2 cups of stems and added 1 cup of Rob Story’s organic sour cherries I had in the freezer. A butter cookie is a nice accompaniment.

Serves 4

click here for print-ready PDF recipe


  • 3 cups fruit (slice rhubarb stems, can add any frozen fruit as well to make 3 cups)
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 c whipping cream


  1. Cook fruit without water on medium, add sugar and pinch of salt and cook until thin jam consistency. Cool.
  2. Whip cream with perhaps a pinch of sugar. Taste the fruit sugar level and determine from it, if you want to add sugar to the cream.
  3. Fold together the fruit and whipped cream gently with a rubber spatula leaving large streaks and serve in stem glassware or glass bowls.

Good news from “the Corner”.  By the time this recipe is published, we should have local rhubarb in from Serendipity Farm should you not have rhubarb spouts of your own!

One Response

  1. Philip Vogelzang says:

    We just tried this recipe with a Finnriver chicken (sorry John and Roxanne!) It was delicious! We did brine the bird beforehand, which I think makes a difference. Also, Katy added lemon zest to the rubbing ingredients, which adds a nice note of citrus.