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Lachie Strachan’s recipe for butterflied chicken with chimichurri

Article image for Lachie Strachan’s recipe for butterflied chicken with chimichurri

Butterflied Chicken with Chimichurri

There are a few benefits of butterflying a chicken, which include fast and even cooking of both the light and dark meat along with some beautifully crispy skin. The punchy garlicky herb flavours from the chimichurri give the dish an extra kick and will guarantee a winner!

This quick and easy chimichurri recipe is also great over a nice steak or lamb cutlets!


  • 1 Whole chicken, 1.8 – 2.25kg, neck, giblets & excess fat removed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt

Chimichurri Sauce

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh coriander
  • ¼ cup loosely packed fresh oregano
  • ¾ to 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red chilli flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Butterfly chicken by placing breast side down, holding on to the tail end of the backbone with one hand and using sharp kitchen scissors, cut along one side of the backbone from the tail to the neck end.
  2. Rotate the chicken 180 degrees and starting from the neck end, cut along the other side of the backbone & discard.
  3. Flip the chicken over & using the heel of your hand, press down firmly on the breastbone to flatten the bird slightly. Pat the chicken dry with dry paper towel. However your local butcher or chicken shop should be able to do this for you if you book ahead.
  4. Put the garlic into a food processor and blend till it sticks to the outside of the bowl, scrape down the bowl, then add in all the herbs and continue to blend till coarsely chopped. Add in the oil, then the vinegar, salt, chilli flakes and pepper and process just until it is blended. Loosen with more oil if needed. Set half the sauce aside for serving.
  5. Rub the marinade under the skin of the breast meat and continue to coat the whole outside of the skin of the bird. Season with salt and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
  6. Prepare your BBQ for cooking over direct medium heat around 180-230 degrees Celsius. Brush to cooking grills clean. Grill the chicken skin side down with the lid closed for around 5-10 minutes until the skin releases easily from the grills and is golden.
  7. Use tongs and a large spatula to flip chicken over and continue to grill with the lid closed until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast meat reaches an internal temperature of 71 degrees Celsius , 25-30 minutes more. Transfer onto a cutting board and let rest for around 10 minutes. The internal temperature will rise in this time.
  8. Using a sharp knife cut the chicken into pieces and serve with the reserved sauce.

I like to serve this with a simple Caprese Salad but you can get creative with any side really. It is also great as leftovers in sandwiches or a nice toasted wrap!