Flat-Roasted Chicken with Rosemary by David Tanis

September 20, 2018

This flat-roasted chicken is a winner. It’s easy and full of flavor.

Have you ever spatchcocked a chicken? Don’t be intimidated. All you do is ask the butcher to take out the backbone. If you have a sharp knife and chutzpah, you can do it yourself. It’s worth it because the result is a crispy, succulent bird.

Sometimes herbs are gratuitous, but here the rosemary is spot-on and adds a touch of subtle sophistication. You can pick and choose how much you want in each bite because it’s added so coarsely.

Make sure you spoon some of the juices over the chicken for maximum flavor.


1 organic chicken, about 3 pounds

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup rosemary leaves

6 large garlic cloves, sliced

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

Olive oil

1 lemon, sliced


Wash the bird and pat it dry. Remove the backbone with a pair of poultry shears or with a sharp knife. Push down the breastbone to open the bird like a book.

Put the chicken in a roasting pan and season generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the rosemary, garlic and red pepper flakes. Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Now, with your hands, gently smear the seasonings all over the bird.

Turn the chicken breast side up and the roasting pan, top with the lemon slices, cover and refrigerate a couple of hours.

Bring the chicken to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 400F. Roast the chicken for about an hour, or until it is beautifully browned and the juices run clear from the leg when pierced. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes.

Put the bird on a cutting board and cut into 6 portions with a heavy knife or a cleaver.

from Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys by David Tanis

Let me know if you tried it! What did you think?

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