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How-To

Butterfly a Chicken

Take a shortcut to juicy roast or grilled chicken with just a few snips of your poultry shears

Gary Junken
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Learn to butterfly a chicken—that is, cut out the backbone and flatten it—and you have a bird that cooks quickly and evenly. Fine Cooking‘s test kitchen manager, Jennifer Armentrout, demonstrates this easy technique, which requires nothing more than a set of poultry shears.To butterfly a whole chicken means to remove the chicken’s backbone so you can open the chicken like a book, or a butterfly, and lay it flat. This easy technique, requiring only a set of poultry shears and about a minute of time, gives you a chicken that cooks faster and more evenly than a whole chicken. In this quick video tip, Fine Cooking‘s test kitchen manager, Jennifer Armentrout, shows you how it’s done.

For a recipe using butterflied chicken, see Elizabeth Karmel’s Beer-Brined Butterflied Chicken.

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