Alton’s Broiled & Butterfly Chicken

Truth to be told, my motivation for trying out recipes is actually cooking for Pat. There’s just something about a loved one eating something you labored for that makes it sooo so rewarding. Initially, I didn’t dare to venture onto recipes on my own. I would skim recipes off from my sister who is half way across the planet but there still wasn’t variety for a weekly dinner rotation.

Frankly, roasting a whole bird or any hunk of meat scares me. It’s like putting a tray of 20 bucks into the oven hoping it doesn’t come out like a piece of leather. I’ve tried roasting a chicken before, the traditional way with the trussing and basting and it was so much work and time in the oven. The calculation of cook time, constant probing of the thermometer wasn’t worth the effort cause half the time, the breast wasn’t fully cook and the thighs are already done.

I was browsing Good Eats (if you never heard it before, go watch!) and saw Alton’s method of a roast chicken and decided to try it. The choice of chicken is important – you will want to use a fryer chicken (1-2kg) instead of any of the traditional roast chicken which is heavier. This allows for a short cooking time and good to feed 2 with minimal leftovers. Also, the skin is CRISPY – something I absolutely love about a roast.

Also, you can make a sauce from the chicken fat but I would just skip it because it doesn’t come out the nice gravy taste. So I use McCormick Roast Gravy for Chicken. Also, you can learn how to butterfly a chicken here.

Pat always look forward to this because he loves watching me struggle butterflying the chicken.. And guess what Pat just asked for this Christmas when we head to Toronto to visit his parents.

Alton’s Broiled and Butterflied Chicken

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 50 mins

Yield: 1 Damn good roast chicken


1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons of Parsley, chopped
1 lemon, zested
Extra virgin olive oil
Onions, carrots and celery cut into 3 to 4-inch pieces
3 to 4-pound broiler/fryer chicken, butterflied


Whatever you do, get everything ready before you work on that bird. Raw chicken all over your things and kitchen counter is just NASTY.
  1. Position your oven rack to the lowest or the second lowest height and turn on your broiler to high.
  2. Crack the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle until coarsely ground.
  3. Add garlic, salt, parsley and work well. Add lemon zest and work just until you can smell lemon. Add just enough oil to form a paste. Set aside
  4. Add your vegetables into a roasting pan. You can use a roasting rack instead but those things are hard to wash with pieces of skin usually stuck on them. The veg will act as a bed for easier clean up and help add flavour.
  5. Butterfly your chicken. Loosen the skin at the neck and the edges of the thighs. Evenly distribute half of the garlic mixture under the skin.
  6. Flip the bird over and rub the remaining mixture on the bone side of the bird.
  7. Flip the bird over (skin side up) and pour some oil on your hands. Gently oil and work it over the chicken skin.
  8. Lay the chicken, skin side down on to the bed of veg AND WASH THOSE FILTHY HANDS BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE!
  9. Pop the roasting pan into the oven and set the timer for 25 mins. Leave the door ajar and go have a drink(if you do not have plastic stove knobs in direct line).
  10. Once 25 mins is up, using a paper towel, flip the bird over by gripping the drumsticks stubs. Set the timer for another 25 mins. Meanwhile, get a colander and place it in a mixing bowl (to serve as a drip pan). I will sit around the oven for this because some boilers heat is not totally even, you will get some spots darker than the rest. So I always watch it and shift the pan around so it gets an even brown all over.
  11. Once done, remove the pan from the oven and poke your instant read thermometer into the thigh and breast to make sure it reads at least 160F and juices run clear. If no, stick it back in.
  12. If yes, place move the chicken by holding onto the drumstick stubs onto the colander and cover loosely with aluminum foil to rest.
  13. Meanwhile, get your sauce from the instant mix ready.
  14. Cut your chicken and serve!

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown.


One thought on “Alton’s Broiled & Butterfly Chicken

  1. Pingback: Beer Can Chicken | MellyMeli

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