Bethany Kehdy

A Champion of Middle Eastern Food & Recipes

Lebanese Butterflied Chicken – Farouj Meshwe 3al Fahem

Lebanese Butterflied Chicken- Farouj Meshwe 3al Fahem

Butterflied Chicken

I’m still here in my beloved Lebanon and well you can only imagine how many frareej meshweeyeh (grilled chickens) I’ve had… It’s one of my all time favorites with extra toum, of course!

Char-grilled butterflied chicken is very much a fast food item in our household. Although we prepare it ourselves when we throw barbecues, we also tend to pick it up ready made on our way back home when we don’t have the time and energy. We keep things simple and serve it with a mixed salad and some hummus. Whatever you do please don’t forget the toum…

Grilled Chicken

Farouj Meshwe is a popular street food in Lebanon. The chicken is butterflied and then pressed between two grill mesh plates, then it is basted several times with a garlic, olive oil and lemon marinade. Once cooked the chicken is de-boned and then the meat is wrapped into luscious Arabic bread sandwiches that have been generously slathered with garlic sauce and a few pickles before the wrapped sandwich is put back on to the charcoal to crisp. This is my version of utopia. Really!

Since it’s been flattened, butterflied chicken cooks quickly, in about 40-60 minutes depending on BBQ strength. The skin comes out extremely crispy (It’s the best part) and if cooked right, the meat tender and juicy.

Butterflied Grilled Chicken


Lebanese Butterflied Chicken – Farouj Meshwe 3al Fahem

Cast of Characters

  • A chicken
  • For the marinade
  • 4-5 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 lemons, juiced- more or less to taste
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil or about 120 ml

Place the chicken with its back facing up and the drumsticks facing you. Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut through one side of the backbone. Repeat for the other side till the backbone is removed. Note: you are cutting out the backbone so you are cutting around it and through the small rib bones. You can use the backbone to make chicken stock.

Turn the chicken over and using a paring knife make a small cut in the white cartilage in the center of the top breastbone. Then bend the halves backwards so the breastbone becomes exposed.

Run your paring knife or index fingers down both sides of the breastbone to separate it from the meat, then pull the bone out. It may come out in two pieces, no biggie.

Now trim off any excess fat and give it a good rinse. Wipe it dry and get it ready for the barbie.

13 thoughts on “Lebanese Butterflied Chicken – Farouj Meshwe 3al Fahem

  1. You seem to have been over there forever, you must be having a fabulous time! The chicken looks marvellous although I must admit the last photo reminds me of the episode of Friends where Courtney Cox is walking round with the raw turkey on her head!

  2. These chicken pieces look delicious.I’m also a big fan of grilled the way, I had what I thought as a nice way of spatchcocking my chicken but I love the photos here as the cutting of the bone at the back is new to me. I can see how the end product will be much nicer.enjoy your hols.

  3. Sarah- You’re cracking me up!

    Valentina- Yes my bro butterflies it from the chest side. I prefer it this way because it’s much easier and the end result is prettier 🙂

  4. I’m with Joumana, as I’m not one to spend the time cutting up a bird, but this recipe looks so delicious that I’ll have to make the trip across the pond to sneak a bite from Bethany’s kitchen, assuming Chris has eaten it all first!

  5. Oh my goodness, Bethany! That looks stunningly fantastic! No wonder it is your utopia food. 🙂 Sigh – that is pure bliss right there. So glad you’re having such a wonderful time! 🙂

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