Grilled Butterfly Chicken with a Paprika and Herb Dry Rub

May 19, 2018
0 Ratings
Photo by Bradley Jakubowski
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 2-4
Author Notes

I came up with this recipe after getting sick of all of my other chicken recipes and cooking methods. I live in a city in Indonesia where quality protein is difficult to find and/or very expensive. One of my go-tos are these little 1/2 kg broiler chickens. They works perfect for butterflying and throwing on a charcoal grill. The herby mixture smells incredible. Towards the end of grilling, you can also lather the bird in a bbq sauce of your choice if you're into that.

As for sides, that's up to you. Personally, I like this chicken with some couscous or roasted potatoes and a cucumber/tomato salad.

This is my maiden recipe post.
Enjoy! —Bradley Jakubowski

What You'll Need
  • 1 tablespoon good quality paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Make sure none of them are clumped together (especially the onion and garlic powder). Taste and adjust as you see fit. Make sure you are comfortable with the consistency. If you like more herbs in your rubs then go with a tbs of oregano and marj. Be quite generous with the paprika. It smells great when grilled and gives the chicken wonderful color.
  2. Next, prepare the bird. Butterflying a chicken is pretty easy. It is best done with a set of really sharp kitchen shears. If you are more of a visual person, I would look up a youtube video that shows you how to do this. But, simply put, starting from the rear, cut down each side of the spine. Stay as close to the bone as you can so as not to waste any meat. This will effectively remove the spine. After the spine has been removed, open up the bird as far as it will go, but be gentle, you don't want to break the skin. You will notice that there is a small tendon near the top that prevents the bird from opening flat. Once you see that just nick it with a sharp knife. This should allow the bird to open up. But again, be gentle. Slicing too deep here could mess with the cooking time and leave a part of the chicken dry and a big bummer. After this, pat the chicken dry with some paper towel. Then apply the rub to the bird on both sides. Rub the rub into the bird gently but firmly. I suggest using a spoon to scoop the rub onto the chick then rub it in with your hands. If you can keep your raw chicken hand out of the rub you can save it for another day. drizzle the bird with some olive oil. Have a small bowl and brush with more oil (or melted butter) for basting throughout the grilling process.
  3. Let the chicken rest, and take in all that flavor from the rub as you prepare the grill. I always use wood charcoal but gas would obviously work fine. At this point in the process, it's absolutely imperative that you have 1-4 beers. Arrange the coals in your grill so that you have two different heat zones going on. One very hot, the other medium. Start by cooking the bird for 5 minutes or so over the hot coals, meaty side down. The idea is to get a nice sear on this. Little bit of char is alright. Flip it over and do the same on the other side. Then move the bird to the more tame side of the grill and cook until done. Flip and baste frequently to avoid burning and drying out. This usually takes about 40-60 minutes - depending on the size of the bird. The best way to tell if it's done is to use a thermometer. You're looking for 165F or 75C. Pull the chicken off and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving and serving. As I mentioned above. The sides are up to you but I like a onion-garlic couscous and a simple tomato-cucumber salad.
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1 Review

Lydia C. July 18, 2019
Thank you for this recipe. To the point with a dash of humour. I’m going to make this chicken tomorrow.