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Weeknight Butterflied Chicken on Cast Iron
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins

This butterflied chicken is so tasty, it's hard to believe it can be made on a busy weeknight! Lemon, oregano and butter... everyone'll lick their fingers!

Course: Main
Cuisine: North American
Servings: 4 people
Author: Nelson Cardoso
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 whole chicken (1.465 kg or 3.23 lbs)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about half a lemon)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 ºF.

  2. Place the pan in the oven for around 15 minutes (while you prep. the chicken and rub).

  3. In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Set aside.

  4. Take the chicken out of the fridge and remove all packaging, string and extra fat.

    Raw chicken
  5. Place the chicken on a cutting board breast-side-down and legs towards you.  Find the top of the backbone and place the knife on the right of the bone. Start cutting along the backbone.

    Cutting the back bone of the chicken
  6. Cut down along the back bone all the way to the end.

    Cutting the back bone of the chicken
  7. Place the knife back at the top of the backbone on the left side, and cut along the bone towards the bottom.

  8. Cut all the way down until the back bone is cut completely off the chicken.

  9. Poke the tip of the knife through the breast bone.

    Cutting the back bone of the chicken
  10. Hold both sides of the chicken with your hands, thumbs on the inside. Fold the chicken back a little until the breast bone pops open. The chicken will now be very flexible in the middle.

    Breaking the chicken's breast bone
  11. Place the chicken on the cutting board, breast down. Rub the inside of the chicken evenly with half of the lemon butter rub.

    Rubbing the chicken with lemon butter mixture
  12. Flip the chicken over and use the rest of the rub on the breast side of the chicken. Make sure to get all the nooks and crannies. Tuck the wings under the chicken.

  13. Add the vegetable oil to the cast iron (12 inch or larger) pan and brush the bottom and sides with the oil, using a crumpled up paper towel. Caution, the pan is extremely hot! Make sure you don't touch the pan directly with your skin.

  14. Place the chick on the pan (carefully...it's hot!), breast side up.

  15. Place the pan in the oven on the middle shelf and roast for 45-50 minutes.

  16. Use a meat thermometer to check the doneness. Poke the thermometer through the thickest part of the thigh or breast meat without touching the bone. The temperature should be between 165 ºF and 170 ºF.

  17. Take the chicken out of the oven, cut into pieces and place the pieces on a serving dish. Note, you can spoon a little bit of the drippings onto the chicken for extra flavour. Not too much though... this is pretty much straight fat. Enjoy with your favourite sides!

Recipe Notes

Always handle chicken with caution. Make sure to wash your hands, kitchen tools and surfaces often. Leave the chicken in the fridge until you're ready to use it and don't leave it out long. These simple steps will keep salmonella bacteria from growing and spreading.

If you don't have a cast iron pan, you can use an oven-proof heavy stainless steel pan.