- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large lemons, zested and sliced
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 2½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 chicken (about 3½ pounds), backbone and breastbone removed
Lemon? Check. Crispy skin? The delicious smell of fresh herbs as the bird roasts? Easy enough to make on a weeknight? Check, check and check again. This recipe ticks all the boxes for me, and I'm sure it will for you as well.
Technique tip: Many markets now sell spatchcocked chickens that have had their backbones (and sometimes breastbones) removed, which allows the chicken to open up flat.
Swap option: You can use breast and thigh pieces instead of a whole chicken.
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the lemon slices on the sheet to form a "rack" for the chicken.2.
In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, thyme, rosemary and salt.3.
Sprinkle one-third of the salt rub on the flesh side of the chicken. Flip the chicken and rub the remaining salt mixture over and under the skin of the whole chicken.4.
Lay the chicken skin side up on the bed of lemons and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.5.
Roast for 40-45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes with the pan drippings, until golden-brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 160 F.6.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes before carving.7.
Meanwhile, use a fork to mash the lemon pulp into the pan juices, discarding the rinds. Spoon the sauce over the chicken just before serving.