How to Butterfly for a BBQ-ed bird

by Betsy Carnie


  • BBQ Sauce for Two Birds:
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and minced
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of chili powder, Tabasco or similar hot sauce

To butterfly your chicken, use your kitchen shears (or a knife if you prefer) and cut along either side of the backbone. Remove the backbone (and save for making stock) and then open the chicken up like a book. Set the rib side of the bird down on the cutting board and the legs facing up, and just press down on the breastbone with the heel of your hand to flatten it. Alternately, from the inside cavity of the bird, you can snip the breast bone out with shears by inserting the blade at the tail end of the breastbone and running the scissors along the length on either side to the top of it. Now a little working the bone with your fingers should free it up enough to get it out. Lay the bird rib side down and legs up, and flatten. It’s butterflied.