Thinking about a smoky, moist, whole grilled chicken may make your mouth water, but the time it takes to cook a whole bird on the grill may put you off. Butterflying, the process by which you remove the backbone and flatten the chicken, speeds up the process, as the chicken cooks much faster in a flattened state. With a good pair of kitchen shears or a quality chef's knife, butterflying chicken is a simple and quick procedure that helps you give your kids a tasty chicken dinner in no time.
Place a fresh chicken on a clean cutting board with the breast-side down and the tailbone closest to you.
Cut along one side of the backbone using kitchen shears, slicing through the thin back ribs connected to it. If you don't have kitchen shears, make a shallow cut on both sides of the backbone with a sharp chef's knife, from the tail to the neck. Stay as close to the backbone as possible.
Cut along the other side of the backbone with the kitchen shears and remove it. If using a knife, press down gently with it along the shallow cuts you made to break through the back ribs and remove the backbone. Save the backbone for making chicken stock later.
Flip the chicken over and press down on the center of the breast firmly with your hands until you hear the breastbone breaking, so that the chicken is now flattened.
Season or brine the chicken as desired to prepare it for grilling, or cooking it using other methods, such as pan-roasting or broiling.