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A French herb rub, a sweet and spicy glaze, and a caramelized shallot butter all combine to make a grilled whole chicken full of layered flavors. | justalittlebitofbacon.com

Butterflied Grilled Whole Chicken with French Herbs and Shallot Butter

A French herb rub, a sweet and spicy glaze, and a caramelized shallot butter all combine to make a grilled whole chicken full of layered flavors.
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 650kcal
Author Just a Little Bit of Bacon


Caramelized Shallot Compound Butter

  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp butter
  • 2 medium shallots, sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • pinch each of salt and sugar
  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Herb Marinated Chicken

  • 1 3 1/2 lb whole chicken
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Honey Mustard Glaze

  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp water


Caramelized Shallot Compound Butter

  • Heat a medium skillet (not non-stick) over medium low heat. Add the oil and butter. Once the butter melts and foams, add the shallots and a pinch each of salt and sugar. Cook the shallots, stirring occasionally until they are medium brown and very soft, 40-45 minutes. Keep a cup of water nearby and add a few drops as needed if the shallots are browning too much.
  • Remove the shallots from the heat and let them cool to room temperature. Once cool, finely chop the shallots.
  • In a bowl mix together the chopped shallots, butter, honey, thyme, salt with a large silicone spatula.
  • Cut off a piece of wax paper or parchment paper. Scoop the compound butter onto the paper in a rough log shape. Roll the bottom half of the paper over the butter. Using a bench scraper, pull the covered butter towards you until the butter is tightly wrapped and is in a nice, smooth log. Twist the ends of the paper and refrigerate the butter until hard, about 2 hours.

Herb Marinated Chicken

  • With the chicken breast side down, use your poultry shears and cut along each side of the backbone. Once you've done that, turn it over and press down on the bird to flatten it out.
  • Combine all the chopped herbs, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl. Rub the chicken all over with the herb mixture, keeping most of it on the breast and leg/thigh meat of the bird. Let the chicken sit out on the counter while you heat up the grill.
  • Preheat the grill until it is very hot and clean off the grates.
  • Grill the chicken, breast side down for 10 minutes with the grill cover open. Carefully loosen the chicken skin from the grates if it has gotten stuck, then turn over the chicken.
  • Reduce the heat to low so that you can maintain a temperature of about 350F. Either shut off one of the burners and turn down the others or move the coals so that you have cooler area in the middle with more heat on the sides. Either way you want only indirect heat on the breast meat with direct, low heat on the legs.
  • Cover the grill and continue cooking the chicken, breast side up until done, 160F, 35-40 minutes on my grill.

Honey Mustard Glaze

  • As soon as you put the chicken on the grill, mix together the honey, mustard, and water in a bowl. Set it aside.
  • After you turn the chicken, begin brushing the chicken with the glaze every few minutes. Don't worry if you run out of glaze.

Serve the Chicken

  • Once the chicken has reached temperature, remove it to a cutting board and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
  • Take the butter out of the refrigerator and let it warm up while the chicken rests. If you have shaped the butter into a log, you can either set it out on a small cutting board for people to cut off portions or cut it into coins for the table.


  • You can put the caramelized shallots into the refrigerator to cool them faster.
  • If you don't want to fuss with making the butter into a log, just scrape the butter into a small serving bowl and pass that around at the table. For photos of how to make the log, see this post.
  • You will not need all the butter for the chicken! From experience, you'll only need half the butter, maybe a bit more. The butter is great on warm bread or with steak.
  • A small food processor makes quick work of chopping all the herbs. Add the herbs, roughly chopped garlic, salt and pepper to the bowl of the processor. Pulse a few times and then add the oil and process until smooth.
  • If you want a deeper herb flavor, you can prepare and rub the chicken the day before.
  • Also, you can make the butter up to 3 days ahead.


Calories: 650kcal