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I know what you're thinking...another chicken dish?! Seriously! You want to talk about 'Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!' This is it. Don't let the length of the ingredient list scare you, half of it are the spices to make this incredible dish.

I have made this recipe so many times, it has become a favorite dish of ours. I usually pair it with quinoa, rice or mashed potatoes. But you can definitely serve this with flour or corn tortillas.

I've even made this ahead of time, where I simply turn the oven on, get the oven to temp and pop it in there. And 45 minutes later you're doing the happy dance! So do the happy dance with me and make this dish!


Inspired by Curtis Stone

Serves 4


  • 3 to 4 pound whole chicken, butterflied

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked and cut in half

  • 1 sweet onion, halved and cut into thick slices

  • 1/4 cup water or chicken broth (preferred)

  • Chopped cilantro leaves for garnishment (optional)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

<butterflying a chicken>

  • Place the chicken, breast side down, tail towards you.

  • Start cutting at one side of the tail with a pair of kitchen shears, cut all the way through the neck end.

  • Repeat on the other side of the tail.

  • Remove the backbone.

  • Turn the chicken over, lay it out flat.

  • Press down on the breast with the heel of your hand to flatten it.

  • Set aside.

<coating the chicken>

  • Combine 3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, paprika and cumin in a large bowl.

  • Add the butterflied chicken to the bowl.

  • Coat the mixture on both sides of the chicken.

<browning the chicken>

  • Heat a large ovenproof pan over medium-high heat.

  • Add the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil.

  • Lay the chicken skin side down in the pan and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.

  • Remove the chicken and set aside on a large baking pan.

<assembling the dish>

  • Turn the heat down to medium-low.

  • Add the tomatillos and onions, and stir for about a minute to scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pan.

  • Add the liquid to the pan.

  • Return the chicken to the pan and snuggle it into the mixture.

  • Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes.



  • For detailed instructions on butterflying a chicken, check out my step-by-step tutorial on 'How-To: Butterfly a Chicken' on my blog.

  • I used my 5 quart Braiser from Le Creuset, this is one of my favorite tools in the kitchen. I use it all the time.

  • Brown only the skin side down, do not brown the other side.

  • For the liquid, you can use either water or broth. I always keep a quart container of broth in my fridge.

  • For an added kick, add chopped jalapenos to the tomatillos and onion mixture!

#food #recipes #whatsfordinner #meatsseafood

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