Lemon and Garlic Butterflied Chicken.

simple and tasty chicken recipe

You can’t go wrong with a finger licking garlicky, herb and citrus roasted chicken, either flame grilled over hot charcoal or roasted in your oven. Save yourself a trip to Nando’s and get that Portuguese-African flavour mix at home, with this delicous Lemon and Garlic Butterflied Chicken dish.

Serve with your favorite hot sauce or tzatziki sauce, add in some home made flat breads and a crunchy salad. This is a fantastic fest for the family or when entertaining friends.

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Why butterfly a chicken?

There are many reasons to learn this technique of butchery.

And because it is an awesome basic to learn, we will be adding it to our back to basic recipe collection.

Cooking a butterflied chicken is a lot quicker than roasting a whole bird. For a 1.5kg chicken it will take 45 minutes in a hot oven. When using marinades you have more surface area to cover, on the front and back of the bird so your chicken will have more flavor when it is cooked.

Preparing the chicken this way also works perfectly on the BBQ. Just cook it slowly, turning often so not to burn one side.

How to butterfly a chicken?

Grab your whole chicken and pat dry with a paper towel. Place onto a solid chopping board, breast side down. Using a good pair of kitchen scissors cut down each side of the back bone, cutting through the bones, removing the back bone in one piece.

Turn the chicken back over and press firmly down on the breast to flatten out the bird. Your chicken is now butterflied and ready to go.

This is a great technique to know, so give it a try. Any questions pop over to our Facebook or Instagram page and ask away, we would love to hear from you!

This Lemon and Garlic Butterflied Chicken dish is easy to make and super yummy, making it the perfect crowd-pleaser!

Happy cooking!

Lemon and Garlic Butterflied Chicken

A delicious lemon, garlic and rosemary rubbed chicken, served with or wrapped in yoghurt flat breads and smothered in a classic tzatziki sauce. A great sharing feast for the family.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Keyword: Backtobasics, Butterflied chicken,, flat breads, lemon garlic, tzatziki
Servings: 4
Author: Shane Avant


Butterflied Chicken

  • 1 large Organic chicken Size 15
  • 6 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 Lemons zest and juice
  • 1 ea Red chilli finely grated
  • 10 cloves Garlic peeled
  • 4 stalks Fresh rosemary stalks removed
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper


  • 1.5 cups Unsweetened greek yoghurt
  • 2 cups Grated cucumber Skin on, Grated
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • bunch Chopped mint
  • 1 Lemon Juice only
  • 1 clove Garlic finely grated
  • Good pinch of salt

Yoghurt Flat Breads

  • 250 g Self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 250 g Unsweetened greek yoghurt
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil


Butterflied Chicken

  • To butterfly your chicken, pat dry with a paper towel and place onto a solid chopping board breast side down.
  • Using a pair of kitchen scissors cut down either side of the back bone to remove in one piece. Turn the bird over and firmly press down on the breast to flatten the bird.
  • In a mortar and pestle add the peeled garlic cloves, red chilli, rosemary, salt and pepper and pound into a paste, zest the skin of the lemon and add to the paste then squeeze in the juice as well, add the olive oil and give it a good stir.
    Lemon and garlic butterflied chicken
  • In a roasting pan place your butterflied chicken in and pour over the marinade, rubbing into the chicken on both sides. Allow this to marinade for minimum 2 hours, the longer the better.
    Lemon and garlic butterflied chicken
  • When you are happy with the time you have given your chicken to marinate have your oven pre heated to 190 deg C. Place your chicken in skin side up and roast for 45 minutes. Once done allow to rest for 20 minutes before portioning.
    Lemon and garlic butterflied chicken
  • To portion your chicken cut between the breast and leg to remove the legs, then cut the legs into the drum and thigh. Cut down the center of the breast and the cut each breast into 3-4 pieces. Use a heavy knife as you will cut through the bones.


  • Take your grated cucumber and sprinkle over a pinch of salt and allow to sit for 5 minutes, this will draw out the water from the cucumber. Take a handful at a time and squeeze out the water and place into a bowl.
  • Add your yoghurt, chopped mint, grated garlic and lemon juice to the cucumber, give it a good mix up. Season with a pinch of salt and place into a serving dish, drizzle over the olive oil and place in the fridge until needed.

Yoghurt Flat Breads.

  • In a large bowl add in the self raising flour, baking powder and salt, mix to combine.
  • Add the yoghurt and olive oil and bring together using a butter knife to start with, once the dough starts to combine tip it out onto the bench and knead for around 5 minutes until you have a nice smooth dough. Cover in cling film and allow to rest for 20 minutes. (Leaving it to rest relaxes the gluten in the flour, making it easier to roll out!)
  • Once your dough has rested cut into 8 even pieces and roll each piece into a ball.
  • On a well floured surface roll out each of your dough balls into a circle and to the thickness of half a centimetre.
  • Heat a large pan on a medium heat, drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil into the pan and fry the bread on each side, usually about 2 minutes each side. When cooked set aside under a clean cloth to keep warm.
  • To serve take a flat bread, smother some tzatziki down the center and add a good amount of chicken. You can add a dash of your favorite hot sauce if you want to spice things up.
    We serve our wraps with a nice chopped salad, cous cous and olives. Yum!

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