Butterflied Korean-Style Chicken

A Korean gochugaru (ground red chile) rub and a sweet, spicy, savory, umami gochujang (red chile paste) glaze take a simple roasted or grilled chicken to a new level! Butterflied Korean-Style Chicken can be grilled or roasted, and comes together more quickly with the aid of poultry sheers… 

Butterflied Korean Chicken

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – About “Butterflied” Chicken

A pic of the author Tamara.

Have you ever butterflied (aka spatchcocked) a chicken? If it sounds mysterious or difficult, trust me when I say it is simple and straightforward. Using poultry shears (not kitchen shears), cut along each side of the backbone to remove it.

Save the backbone for stock! That’s really all there is to it… Before preparing your bird, turn it breast side up, and flatten it by pressing firmly down on the breast.

Why is this step necessary? I like to think it creates a “more level playing field.” That flattened bird will cook more quickly and more evenly… no more bloody thighs or dried out breast meat.

After it is butterflied, the chicken gets a spicy rub, and goes into a hot oven. After 15-20 minutes, the roasting chicken gets brushed with an umami, salty, sweet glaze. Delicious. Trust. Me.

Butterflied Korean Chicken on a cutting board with a carving knife.

🍗 What Can I Serve with My Chicken?

I love to serve my butterflied chicken with roasted vegetables. As you can see in the first photo, I nestled the purple cauliflower and rainbow carrots around the chicken. I added them when I began basting the chicken, and spread a little “love” on the veggies as well…

What is the best way to cook my butterflied chicken? I have done both butterflied and grilled. Butterflying the chicken makes the cooking process more consistent, resulting in moist breast and fully-cooked thigh meat.

What can I do with leftovers? Roasted or grilled chicken is awesome for lunches or another meal. We typically get dinner for both of us, and then about 3 more lunches (depends on portions). Don’t forget to save the backbone and skeleton for stock!

How long will it keep? I don’t go past 5 days in the refrigerator (I err on the side of caution), but it will keep for months if properly stored in the freezer!

🧂 Useful Stuff

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Think you might give this a try? Invest in a good pair of poultry shears, and I think you’ll find this technique to be invaluable… Let me know how it goes!

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.
Yield: 1 chicken

Butterflied Korean Chicken

Butterflied Korean Chicken

A Korean gochugaru (ground red chile) rub and a sweet, spicy, savory, umami gochujang (red chile paste) glaze take a simple roasted or grilled chicken to a new level! Butterflied Korean Chicken can be grilled or roasted, and comes together more quickly with the aid of poultry sheers...

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken

The Rub

Glaze

To Garnish

  • toasted sesame seeds
  • finely chopped chives or scallion

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees (425 convection).
  2. Butterfly the chicken by placing it on a cutting board, breast side down, and cutting along each side of its backbone with kitchen shears. Reserve the backbone for stock.
  3. Turn the chicken over and press down against the breasts with the palms of your hands until you hear it crack. The chicken should lie flat along the cutting board.
  4. Mix the ingredients for the rub together in a small prep bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over your butterflied chicken. Place it breast side up in a cast iron skillet or other roasting pan. Place in preheated oven.
  5. Add the ingredients for the glaze to the bowl of a blender or food processor. I like my personal blender for this task.
  6. After 15-20 minutes, begin brushing the chicken with the glaze every 10 minutes or so. Use a baster to baste with pan juices as they accumulate.
  7. Roast the chicken until the breast reaches 165 degrees. (Cooking time will vary according to how cold the chicken was at the start, its size, and whether you use standard or convection roast. Typically, a smallish chicken will take about 40 minutes, and a large one about 60 minutes.)
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to rest about 15 minutes. Carve and garnish with sesame seeds.
  9. Enjoy!

Notes

If you can't find gochugaru, you can substitute red chile powder. If you use something like cayenne, reduce the amount substantially.

Gochujang is a Korean chile paste made with gochugaru. It is pretty widely available in the international foods aisle of regular markets. It is also available at Asian markets. I recently found a housemade version at my local Asian market which I am excited to try. I also plan to post a recipe for my own gochujang soon.

I serve my Butterflied Korean Chicken with roasted vegetables. I roast them in the same pan with the chicken, and baste them with the chicken juices and the glaze. It's fabulous, and turns this into a one pot meal!

Cooking time is approximate and applies to a small chicken of about 3 1/2 pounds.

I have also done this on our Kamdado charcoal grill with excellent results. The key is to use an instant read thermometer to bring the breast to 165 degrees.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 300Total Fat: 19gCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 38g

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