Home - Dinner - Chicken - Butterflied Chicken with Spicy Garlic Butter

Butterflied Chicken with Spicy Garlic Butter

5 from 2 community reviews

Did you know you can easily save your favorite recipes? Create an account or log in to get started.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Use a cast iron skillet to roast a whole butterflied chicken to perfection, Italian diavolo-style chicken recipe is seasoned with garlic butter and crushed red pepper.

A roasted chicken in a cast iron skillet, with brown crisp skin and red chili flakes in a small dish on the side.

Roasting a whole chicken is probably my number one favorite thing to do with the bird, hands down.

Instead of keeping it whole, this butterfiled chicken is split down the backbone, then seasoned under the skin with a tasty butter infused with spicy red chili and garlic. To cook, put it in a a seasoned cast iron skillet and pop it in the oven.

It’s fiendishly good and just a little spicy, just like the Italian word for devil — diavolo.

A roasted chicken with crisp golden brown skin in a cast iron skillet.

Sometimes I season chicken for roasting with grainy Dijon mustard mixed with some chopped tarragon, making sure to smear plenty of the mixture under the skin.

Other times there’s nothing better than a simple roasted chicken popped into the oven with just salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon.

How to butterfly or “spatchcock” a chicken

  1. To remove the backbone from a whole chicken: Put the chicken on a cutting board, breast side down.
  2. Cut along the backbone on either side with a pair of scissors or a sharp knife.
  3. Remove the bone and discard, or save it to add to homemade chicken stock

Roasting chicken in a cast iron skillet

You can easily find pre-seasoned cast iron pans but when I bought mine oh-so-many-years ago that wasn’t an option. Those pans are treasured tools in my kitchen for sure, with a patina that bears witness to half my lifetime of cooking.

The skillet goes from stovetop to oven (and straight to the table, sometimes) which simplifies things even more.

A roasted sliced chicken in a cast iron skillet, with brown crisp skin and red chili flakes in a small dish on the side.

Cast iron butterflied chicken turns out super juicy and just a little spicy, but not too much to set your mouth on fire.

  • The warm juices are delicious over a pile of tender parsley sprigs, making a softly wilted salad you can serve with toasted crusty bread, pasta or couscous.
  • Be sure to let the chicken rest 10 – 15 minutes before carving and serving for the best juicy meat.
A roasted butterfiled whole chicken in a cast iron skillet, set on top of a linen napkin on a worn wood surface.

Butterflied Chicken with Spicy Garlic Butter

Karen Tedesco
An easy recipe for tasty roasted chicken, with Italian “diavolo” seasonings — chili and garlic. Roast in a cast iron skillet or other heavy skillet.
Print Pin
5 from 2 community reviews
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Chicken
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (3-3½ pounds), backbone removed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 tablespoon pressed garlic, 3-4 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or 2 teaspoons fine salt
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon crushed chili flakes, or to taste
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, tough stems trimmed

Instructions 

  • Heat oven to 425 (220 C) degrees.
  • Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes while the oven preheats.
  • Combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, butter, garlic, 1 1½ teaspoons salt, chopped thyme and chili in a small bowl to make a creamy paste. Using your fingers, carefully loosen the skin on the breasts and rub some of the mixture in between the flesh and the skin. Rub the remaining paste all over the outside of the chicken, including a bit in the cavity. Season the skin with the remaining 1 ½ teaspoons salt.
  • Heat a 10-12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy-duty ovenproof pan over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles and instantly evaporates. Add the remaining tablespoon olive oil, then lay the chicken in the pan, skin side down.
  • Cook 10 minutes without moving the chicken. The skin should start to turn golden brown – adjust the heat so the pan doesn’t become too hot and burn the skin.
  • Transfer chicken to the oven and roast 30 minutes. Carefully turn the chicken over and roast an additional 15-20 minutes, until the legs wiggle easily, the juices run clear and the internal temperature reads 160 degrees. Let chicken rest at least 10 minutes before carving — remember that it will continue to cook as it sits. Carve into pieces and serve on a platter on a bed of the parsley.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

To remove the backbone from a chicken:
  1. Put the chicken on a cutting board, breast side down.
  2. Cut along the backbone on either side with a pair of scissors or a sharp knife.
  3. Remove the bone and discard, or save it to add to homemade chicken stock

Nutrition

Calories: 613kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 51g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Sodium: 1896mg | Potassium: 467mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 2013IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.

Did you make this recipe? Search @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Pinterest
Recipe developer Karen Tedesco of the popular website Familystyle Food in her kitchen making a kale salad.

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

Leave a comment and star rating

Do you have a cooking question? Leave your comment below and let me know how I can help.

Did you love this recipe? Just click on the stars to leave a rating!

Recipe rating




Share your photo!Inspire others by uploading an image of your creation along with your review. The maximum upload file size: 512 MB. You can upload: image. Drop files here

You may want to read my commenting policy before joining the conversation.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2 Comments

  1. I am making this tonight – SO EXCITED FOR DINNER!