Southern Backyard Chicken
Recipe type: Entree
This recipe is an adaptation of Flat Roast Chicken from one of my favorite cookbooks by Lucinda Scala Quinn, Mad Hungry - Feeding Men & Boys. It makes the juiciest chicken and it's so easy.
- 1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, backbone removed
- Course salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Using kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the backbone to remove.
- You can also ask your butcher to do this step for you.
- Open the chicken's legs and spread the bird down flat, skin side up.
- Press down firmly on the breastbone to flatten it.
- Pat it dry with paper towels.
- Salt and pepper generously on both sides.
- Heat an ovenproof skillet (14-inch) on high heat.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter.
- Immediately add the chicken, skin side down.
- Allow to brown (without moving) for 3 minutes.
- Turn the chicken over, careful not to break the skin, and transfer the skillet to the oven.
- The chicken is done when it is golden brown and cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part, not touching bone, should read 165 degrees.
- Remove the chicken to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice and the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan drippings and swirl around.
- Caution: the skillet handle will be hot from the oven. Use an oven mitt.
- Cut the chicken into pieces and drizzle with the pan sauce and sprinkle with red pepper flakes if you'd like.