FROM MAD HUNGRY, BY LUCINDA SCALA QUINN (ARTISAN BOOKS). COPYRIGHT 2009
1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, backbone removed
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 the oven to 400 degrees F. Using the kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the backbone to remove. Reserve it for broth. Open the chicken’s legs and spread the bird down flat, skin side up. Press down firmly on the breastbone to latten it.
Heat a large ovenproof skillet such as a cast iron on high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Immediately add the chicken, skin side down. Allow to brown (without moving) for 3 minutes.
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 F. Remove the chicken to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan drippings and swirl around.
Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, the red pepper flakes, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cut the chicken into pieces, drizzle with the fresh lemon sauce and pan sauce, and serve immediately.
Roasting Pan Method: Follow Step 1, then place the chicken in a large, shallow roasting pan, skin side up, and put in the oven. Proceed to Step 3 and complete.