Start by taking the chicken and place it back side up. Take your kitchen shears, and it helps to have sharp ones, and cut along both sides of the back from neck to tail and remove the back bone. Flip the chicken over and press down on the the chicken to flatten. I then make a paste of chopped garlic, shallots, fresh herbs of your choosing, juice and zest of one or two lemons, salt, pepper and some oil. Lift the skin gently to cause a separation between flesh and skin and stuff some of the mixture in the pocket. Take the remaining mixture and if necessary add more oil to make it possible to rub over the exterior of the chicken, all sides all parts. Refrigerate and let it marinate for at least 3 hours. I personally do not cover the container because I want my chicken skin to dry and have this marinade dry on the skin. When it is time to roast, I take it out of the fridge and let it set at room temp of about 15 minutes. There are many ways at this point to cook this, one would be to brown it skin side down in skillet and then transfer to the over to finish. Or you can roast it in the oven, skin side up. Lastly you can throw it on the bbq. Whichever method you choose, the internal temp for chicken should register 160 degrees F. A test for chicken is bones moving freely in the socket and/or clear juices run from the chicken. As far as cooking temperatures go, there are so many theories and boy have I tried them all, but I think for a chicken, I like to set the temp to 350 and the butterflied chicken should take about an hour, but everyone's ovens are different so just keep an eye on that internal temp.
Once the chicken is out of the over, let it rest for about 15 minutes before cutting. I like to move the chicken to a cutting board - take the roasting pan that it cooked in and add some chicken broth and let it sit on your stovetop and warm it up just a bit. Take it off the heat or just turn the heat off. When you are cutting the chicken, put the cut chicken pieces in the broth, this will keep it moist and warm. Once it is all cut cover the roasting pan with foil and it will keep for a bit while you finish up everything else. At the last minute you can strain off the broth to make your gravy.
LAST tip, save the bones, even those back bones from the beginning. Freeze them and when you want to make some chicken stock you just need to pull them out and defrost! ENJOY! Until next time....Remember to savor the flavor or your labor!