Papaya Barbecue Butterfly Chicken

This Butterfly Chicken recipe is made with a Papaya Barbecue Sauce that not only creates tender meat, but also a flavor reminiscent of the tropics! Liven up your whole chicken with this delicious new barbecue sauce!

PAPAYA BARBECUE BUTTERFLY CHICKEN

SERVES: 4 to 6 ⎪ DIFFICULTY: INTERMEDIATE ⎪ FUNK: CASUAL

Butterflying a chicken helps it cook much faster and leaves you with tender, juicy meat and crispy, golden skin. This one is painted with papaya barbecue sauce, giving it a gorgeous crimson color. To intensify its sweet and fruity flavor, remove the chicken halfway through cooking and brush it with the sauce (diluted with a little water so it doesn’t burn). Grilled or oven-roasted, this recipe’s success is in the sauce.

Mise en Place

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1. PREP THE CHICKEN

Remove the liver, gizzard, and neck from the inside cavity of the chicken. Place the chicken on a cutting board, breast side down. Using kitchen shears, cut along each side of the backbone. Flip the bird over and press the chicken flat (teach it a lesson if you have to, break some bones!). Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Rub both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken, breast-up, on a baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 2 hours or overnight (this step is key for crispy skin).


TIP! Freeze the gizzard, neck, and backbone for homemade chicken stock. 

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2. COOK THE CHICKEN

Leave the chicken out for at least 2 hours to reach room temperature (this helps with even cooking). Roast the chicken in a 450F oven for about 40 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of your bird. 

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3. SAUCE THE CHICKEN

Brush the chicken with papaya barbecue sauce. If you wish, you can also flip the chicken and apply barbecue sauce to the underside. Transfer to a serving platter. Rest for 10 minutes and then cut into pieces.

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4. SERVE & STORE

Serve with more papaya barbecue sauce and lime wedges. Wrap and store leftovers in the fridge for 1 week.   

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LEFTOVERS

Looking for other ways to repurpose your leftover chicken? 

  • Save and freeze the bones for homemade chicken stock. 
  • Make Barbecue Chicken Salad.
  • Make Barbecue Chicken Pizza.
  • Make Pulled BBQ Chicken: Shred the leftover chicken meat and place it in a pot. Cover with papaya barbecue sauce (or regular), cover, and cook on low heat for 2 to 4 hours. Serve on hamburger buns.

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VARIATIONS

Violet Mustard Variation: Replace papaya barbecue sauce with Violet Mustard. Combine 1/3 cup mustard, 1/3 cup minced shallot, and a handful minced parsley.  Rub on the roast butterfly chicken.  

Miso Butter Variation: Replace papaya barbecue sauce with miso butter. In Step 1, omit the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Instead, rub 1/4 cup room temperature miso butter all over the chicken, including under the skin.

Did you make this Papaya Barbecue Butterfly Chicken? Let me know how it turned out, and leave a comment below! 

Food for Thought

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