Garlic Butter Flattened Chicken

A cooked whole flattened chicken sitting on a grill grate.
This recipe is sponsored by Gateway Drum Smokers

A great way to get consistency when cooking whole, this flattened chicken with garlic butter is moist and tasty. It is also sometimes known as ‘chicken under a brick’ due to the way weight is added to flatten.

The weight is created from a brick (possibly wrapped in foil for hygiene), a skillet, or similar. This compresses the chicken creating an even thickness to cook and as such making a more consistent result between the different areas, particularly the breast and thigh.

Although this recipe is for a chicken it also works very well with all poultry including quail, duck, pigeon, and a wide range of harvested birds. It could work for a turkey also but a very big brick of skillet would be needed.

Swipe to see all photos
Looking down on a flattened chicken cooked over charcoal in a round BBQ.
The flatterned chicken is cooked to goldern brown on the hot-and-fast set smoker.
A cooked flattened chicken sitting on a grill rack.
Once cooked let the flattened chicken rest 5 minutes before serving.
Looking at a flattened chicken with seasoned butter and coating of rub on it.
The seaoned butter is rubed on the chicken and placed under the skin before a rub being added.
A flattened chicken sitting on a white chopping board.
The chicken is ‘flattened’, this is also known as butterflied or spatchcocked.
A cooked whole flattened chicken sitting on a grill grate.
The cooked chicken is flavorsome and moist with an appealing glazed appearance.

Garlic Butter Flattened Chicken Recipe

This recipe is sponsored by Gateway Drum Smokers.
A cooked whole flattened chicken sitting on a grill grate.
A great way to get consistency when cooking whole, this flattened chicken with garlic butter is moist and tasty.
Preparation 15 minutes
Cook 1 hour
Ready in 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 Servings


Chicken Brine

  • 1/4 cup kosha salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 whole chicken butterflied

Garlic Butter

  • 2 tablespoons sweet and savory style rub
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cloves garlic finely diced

To Cook

  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • apple juice as needed



Chicken Brine

  • Add to a pot the salt, brown sugar, and 2 cups of water. Warm over low heat until all the ingredients are dissolved.
  • Add the warm liquid to a large bowl then add the ice and cold water, stir to combine then add the butterflied chicken. Leave to brine for 2 hours.

Garlic Butter

  • In a bowl combine the rub, softened butter, granulated garlic, and fresh finely diced garlic. Stir while pressing the seasonings into the butter, continue until the ingredients are well combined. Leave for the flavors to infuse.

To Cook

  • Preheat your smoker or closed grill to 300 degrees F ( 150 degrees C). If using a Gateway Drum Smoker set the grate on the middle rack. Also, heat the brick or skillet that you plan to put on top of the chicken to flatten.
  • Loosen the skin of the chicken by running your fingers under it around the breast and thighs then start stuffing it full of garlic butter, using about half of what was made. Use the remaining garlic butter to rub on the bone side of the chicken and on the outside of the skin.
  • Remove the heated brick or skillet. Place the buttered chicken skin side down in the center of the preheated smoker then top with the brick or skillet. Cook for 45 minutes.
  • Remove the bricks or skillet and flip the chicken so now skin side up. Continue to cook until 160 degrees F (72 degrees C).
  • Combien the BBQ sauce and apple juice to get a coating consistency. Apply this to the skin side of the chicken and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the glaze sets. 
  • Remove from the smoker then rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 503kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 25gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 5059mgPotassium: 354mgFiber: 1gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 807IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 91mgIron: 3mg

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About Brad Leighninger

After starting competitive barbecue in 2012 Brad has had a string of successes from the American Royal and Jack Daniels, to Memphis in May to King of the Smoker, these combing to be 3 times KCBS team of the year (2021, 2020, & 2018).

Learn more about Brad Leighninger
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