Flat Roasted Chicken

I absolutely love Lucinda Scala Quinn. Her recipes are totally my style. Simple, quick, delicious. I was thrilled when she came out with her cookbook and companion series Mad Hungry, Feeding Men and Boys. Well, in my house I have one of each, sometimes 2 of one or two of the other,  but this cookbook sounded right up my alley. The first episode of Mad Hungry that I watched, besides falling more in love with Lucinda’s cooking style and her SPURDLE, I had to run out, buy a chicken and make this Flat Roasted Chicken. This recipe is fairly quick, super easy and completely yummy.
By the way, this led me to discover another cookbook by  Lucinda, Lucinda’s Rustic Italian Kitchen, which I can’t wait to get my hands on!
  • 1 whole (3- to 4-pound) chicken
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the backbone to remove; discard or reserve for broth, if desired. Open the chicken’s legs and spread the bird down flat, skin side up. Press down firmly on the breastbone to flatten. Pat dry with paper towels; season generously with salt and pepper.

NOTE: I remember the first time I watched Nigella do this to a chicken. She said there was something oddly satisfying about flattening the bird. She was absolutely right!

Heat a large ovenproof skillet, preferably cast-iron, over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Add chicken, skin-side down, to skillet. Let brown without moving, about 3 minutes. Turn chicken, taking care not to break the skin; transfer skillet to oven.

NOTE: From looking at the photo in the book, and seeing slices of lemon, I added sliced lemon to the skillet in the oven about halfway through.

Roast chicken until golden brown and cooked through, about 40 to 45 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part reaches 165 degrees. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let stand 10 minutes.

NOTE: Now, here is where I ran into my troubles. I took the skillet out of the oven, grabbed my tongs to lift the chicken out, and without thinking, grabbed the handle when the chicken was moving easily. I burned three of my fingers. Oh, yes, really stupid.

Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and remaining tablespoon butter to pan, swirling to combine; set aside.

If you decide to make the sauce, in a small bowl, whisk together remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, red-pepper flakes, garlic, and pinch of salt. Cut chicken into pieces and serve immediately drizzled with olive oil mixture and pan sauce.

NOTE: Now, because I burned my fingers and was now howling in pain and not really interested in making the side sauce. There were a lot of juices in the skillet already. I took the ingredients for the  side sauce added them to the skillet and simmer until it reduced. After I attempted to cut up the chicken, I poured the sauce over the chicken.

I can’t wait to try more recipes out of this book. But any young man I know first moving out on his own will get this wonderful book as a gift. It’s perfect for a guy learning to cook and feed himself.

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17 Responses

  1. Ouch, I feel your pain!…I love this book as well. I am giving it to my son for his kitchen as he has his first this year! Try the pork chops with apples and onions….wonderful!

  2. Wow, this looks so amazing, what time should I come for dinner daaaaaahling?
    *kisses* HH

  3. It looks so beautifully juicy and crispy. I can’t tell you how many burns I have had in my kitchen. I think it’s from too much multitasking…our brains can only take in so much info at one time. I have never heard of Lucinda and will now have to check her out.

  4. So have you gotten yourself a spirdle? Hope your fingers are feeling better now!

  5. Well, I got one when Abbey & I went to Scotland. But a few years ago I found a guy in Canada who made them and I bought some for gifts. I DIDN’T KNOW YOU WANTED ONE! But I will see if I still have the info on the Canadian fellow.

  6. Please leave the information on how to buy a spurdle as I have been looking for one, too. thanks.

    • The Martha Stewart line at Macy’s used to carry it. They don’t anymore. There isn’t a separate manufacturer for them. It was made for her by a woodworker on the west coast. I’m hoping that Martha adds it back into her line!

  7. [...] Spatchcocked Chicken from Ami. Gets ‘em every time. Check out her blog, From the Bookshelf, for a step-by-step. [...]

  8. I am perplexed: how long does one leave the bird in the oven. Even an approximate time, a hint at how long it takes to get to 165 degrees would be a help.

  9. Tried this tonight. One word to describe it – Magnificent – thank you Ami- keep the recipes coming. FYI, made this with the honey roasted carrots – YUM!

  10. The famous spurtle you have been looking for can be found at http://www.kitchencarvers.com. Customers have been commenting that it looks great and feels good in their hands, and that it is a joy to cook with….

  11. […] love to be in the kitchen together and thought it would be fun to do. Mom made the chicken, Flat Roasted Chicken, another fav from my darling Lucinda, I was making a potato roast, another fav from Every Day Food […]

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