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Flat Roasted Lemon Chicken

FRlemonchickenIt’s Monday – how did that happen?! We had a busy, but productive weekend. After hosting an open house for students on Saturday, I drove all over the county picking up thrifted finds. I snagged a TV at the northern-most end of the county and then drove an hour south for two armchairs that I hoped would finished out our living room. I have a love-hate relationship with Craigslisting. Every now and then I score, like the time I found the weekenders clearing out their country home and picked up a ton of Pottery Barn furniture for $150. Usually though, I find allllmost the right thing. Like this weekend, the armchairs should have been perfect, but I didn’t realize when she said she was halfway through finishing a project, that she had actually painted the fabric. I guess if you sand it down, it’ll end up feeling like suede, but for now it feels like crunchy paper. Add that to my project list. But, they do finish the room out, so we’ll call it a draw.

Yesterday was great though – we made a lot of progress on setting up the house. I prepped the guest room for my parents’ visit this week; did the furniture shuffle to try to get our living room in order (i.e. moved the couch 3 times), set up the beginnings of the kiddo’s man-cave in the basement, hung the mirror and pictures in the guest bath, put hooks on the back every door I could get my hands on, and the kiddo and I are in a showdown for who gets to use this awesome picture in their decor. We also had one of our family’s favorite recipes: flat-roasted chicken.


The first Christmas I spent with TimTheFamer and the kiddo, they gave me this book. Aren’t they funny?? 


This book has awesome recipes and we’ve been eating the flat roasted chicken for years; it’s quick to get in the oven and amazingly juicy and flavorful. It’s also great because while this is cooking, you can make the rest of your side dishes. I made a couple slight tweaks to ensure we’re not cooking with vegetable fats. Make this tonight. Seriously!


Flat Roasted Lemon Chicken (Paleo)
Serves 4
Quick and easy whole roast chicken
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 min
  1. 1 whole chicken
  2. Coarse salt (pink Himalayan sea salt is best)
  3. Freshly ground pepper
  4. 4 tbsp butter
  5. 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  6. 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  7. 2 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
  8. 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400*F.
  2. Using kitchen shears, cut the backbone out of the chicken. Place it skin-side up on the cutting board and push down on the breastbone with both hands to flatten it out.
  3. Season both sides of chicken liberally with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat 3 tbsp of butter over high heat in large ovenproof skillet (cast iron is best).
  5. Add chicken, skin side down and allow to brown for 3-4 minutes (don't move it!).
  6. Using two sets of tongs, turn the chicken over and transfer skillet to the oven.
  7. While chicken cooks, whisk together the olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic, salt and pepper and 1 tbsp of lemon juice.
  8. Cook for 40-45 minutes until chicken is brown and cooked through. A thermometer inserted into the thickest part should reach 165*.
  9. Remove the chicken to the cutting board to rest.
  10. Return the skillet to the heat and add remaining lemon juice and butter to pan and swirl around.
  11. Cut chicken into pieces to service and drizzle with pan drippings and lemon garlic sauce.
  1. The sauce is key. Don't skimp on the sauce.
  2. DON'T grab the pan handle without an oven mitt when it comes out of the oven. Trust me on this one.
  3. Freeze the bones to make broth or stock.
Adapted from Mad Hungry by Lucinda Scala Quinn
Adapted from Mad Hungry by Lucinda Scala Quinn
Isn't That Grand?