Butter Roasted Chicken

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I blame the blogosphere for this one. At least for all the butter.

In my travels online, I’ve become acquainted with the fabulously talented Kitchen Girl Jo, a fellow food blogger. Sometime in the last week or so, Jo posted a mouth-watering recipe for butter-poached lobster tails.

She got me thinking about cooking things in obscene amounts of butter.

So I bought a little chicken this weekend, and decided to give it what I now refer to as The Butter Treatment.

The Butter Treatment
I butterflied the chicken (also known as spatchcocking it), laid it flat, and stuffed a lot of butter underneath its skin. Then I roasted it til the skin was crispy and the meat was meltingly tender.

I figured that between the chicken and the butter, there would be loads of rich broth. That’s why I was sure to add some veggies to the pan—mainly potatoes—to soak it up.

The chicken was moist and succulent—and well, buttery—without being the least bit greasy.

A note on ingredients
I used a regular broiler from McKinnon’s, my butcher.

I’d be wary of using a plumper bird like a Purdue Oven Stuffer Roaster. A larger, fattier chicken would give off considerably more fat/juice and potentially overflow my pan and kind of boil—not roast—my potatoes.

Warning: This is 100% delicious and 100% not low-fat.

Butter Roasted Chicken

1 4-lb. chicken
1 onion, sliced
5 large red potatoes, cut into chunks
8 baby carrots, cut in half
6 Brussels sprouts, quartered
2 Tbls. parsley, minced
2 Tbls. powdered garlic
1 tsp. powdered celery seed
1/2 stick butter
freshly cracked pepper
spray oil

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Line a sheet pan with foil. Spray lightly with oil. Spread the sliced onions evenly over the pan.

Spatchcock your chicken
Next, spatchcock (or butterfly) your bird. Basically, you cut the backbone out of the chicken to flatten it out. If you haven’t done this before, this video provides a great overview.

Once you’ve done this, place your butterflied chicken on your pan on top of the sliced onions. It should look roughly like this:

Add the veggies
Arrange the potatoes, carrots, and Brussels sprouts around the chicken.

Prep your bird
Cut the half stick of butter up into small chunks. At the neck end, grab a hold of the skin and begin to pull it gently up and away from the meat. (This sounds silly, but if you don’t know which end is the “neck end”, find the tail, then go to the other end.)

Slip your hand underneath it and begin to work the skin away from the meat. Basically, what you want to do is create a pocket between the skin and the chicken meat that you can fill with butter.

(Pictures are slightly smaller, because The Hungry Mouse knows not everyone likes to look at raw chicken. Click to enlarge images.)

Butter up your bird
Once you’ve created your pocket, you need to fill it up.

Take the chunks of butter and spread them out evenly beneath the skin. Make a couple of small cuts in the skin on the legs and nestle in a little butter there, too.

Your buttered bird should look about like this:

Finish seasoning
Now that your bird is buttered, sprinkle the skin evenly with the powdered garlic and celery seed.

Then sprinkle the whole pan (bird + veggies) with salt and pepper to taste. It should look about like this:

Roast and enjoy
Roast in the oven at 375 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring the veggies every half hour to promote even cooking.

It’s done when the chicken juices run clear and your veggies are cooked through.


Copyright 2008 The Hungry Mouse/Jessica B. Konopa. All rights reserved.

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


  1. Hi, thanks for visiting today and thanks for the vote on Fuel my Blog. Apparently I don't know much about fuel my blog because I only visited it a couple of times but tried to leave you a message. I registered in your site to be able to leave you a message but hope this is only a one time procedure. Your chicken looks delicious but I am not sure about the use of all this butter. A year back before I started blogging I used only olive oil but now with the recipes I've been making I've been using a lot of butter and hope my cholesterol has not reached to the peak. The taste of butter in cookies and cakes bring them to a higher level of taste but we must look after our health as well.
  2. Hi Ivy! Thanks for the note and for registering. It is definitely only a one-time procedure. I do it to keep the spammers away and hope folks don't mind too much. ;) I'm with you on the cholesterol issue. This definitely isn't something I would make often, but it is a wonderful treat. I actually mainly use olive oil most of the time when I cook, as well. (Like I said, I even make my brownies with olive oil and I swear it does something wonderful to the flavor.)