Sunday means having roast chicken for lunch (or dinner if I get up late). It’s a tradition I picked up while living in the UK.

Butterflied or whole trussed chicken?
While roasting a whole chicken has its obvious advantages — hardly any prep, you just toss a chicken on a baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and put it in the oven until it’s done — the skin all around the bird never gets quite as crispy as you want. But a chicken without crispy skin, no matter how juicy and delicious the meat may be, is one not worth eating.




What Is a Butterflied Chicken?
It simply means cutting out the chicken’s backbone and pressing the bird flat so that it cooks in a single layer. Butterflying (or spatchcocking as the Americans call it) the chicken allows for all the skin to be exposed to the high heat of the oven and crisp up well while the meat cooks through below.

There are several YouTube videos on how this is done. Watching and learning from them, I start the chicken skin-side down in a hot cast iron pan in the oven to render out some of the fat so when I flip it and continue roasting it, the skin gets extra crisp. It’s simply a better and faster way to roast a chicken.




There are several advantages to roasting a butterflied chicken:
• With a trussed whole chicken, the breast meat usually overcooks by the time the dark meat (legs and thighs) is done. A butterflied chicken spreads out the dark meat evenly so everything finishes cooking at the same time.

• With a butterflied chicken, you can carve and serve without any of the skin getting soggy. With a whole chicken, it’s difficult not to end up with some of the skin sitting in juices while you carve.

• Butterflying also allows you to put flavorful things (sliced onions, garlic cloves, lemon, and rosemary, etc.) under the chicken while roasting to season the meat. This is much more effective than putting similar ingredients in the cavity of a trussed chicken, both because they heat up faster, and because they touch much more of the chicken. Then I make the gravy from the juice that comes off the chicken.

• It only takes about 40-45 minutes to roast a butterflied chicken as compared to 90 minutes for a whole trussed chicken.

Have you ever butterflied a chicken before? It’s surprisingly easy! All you need is a pair of good kitchen shears and the focus of a surgeon! The benefits are: faster, more even cooking, and lots of gorgeous crispy skin.


But there’s an easier way – buy the Bostock frozen butterflied chicken at Healthy Options! Just thaw, season, and cook! 


Butterflied Roast Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary
(recipe by
This butterflied roast chicken with lemon and rosemary is tender and juicy, and there’s lots of crispy golden skin to enjoy.

Butterflied chicken is especially good on the grill.


  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Servings: 5


• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, or as needed
• 1 (3lb) whole butterflied chicken
• kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
• 1 lemon, sliced into rounds
• 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
• ½ cup white wine (or chicken broth)



  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a rimmed baking pan with aluminum foil. Place a rack on top of foil.
  2. Rub olive oil on both sides of chicken and generously season with salt and black pepper. Arrange lemon slices and rosemary on the rack and place chicken, skin-side up, onto the rack.
  3. Roast in the preheated oven until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, 45 to 55 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
  4. Transfer chicken to a serving platter and tent a piece of aluminum foil over it. Discard lemon and rosemary and remove rack.
  5. Pour wine into the baking pan and gently loosen the bits of food in the pan with a wooden spoon, being careful not to tear the foil. Strain pan juices into a saucepan and bring to a boil; cook until sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Spoon sauce over chicken.


Another option is to grill it!



Download the full issue of the Jan-Feb 2023 Healthy Options News Digest here.