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Flat Roast Chicken

Try this recipe from Lucinda Scala Quinn's "Mad Hungry" cookbook for a simple, family-friendly way to serve delicious roast chicken.

  • Servings: 6
Flat Roast Chicken

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, October 2009


  • 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 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Roast chicken until golden brown and cooked through 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.

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

Reviews (12)

  • GRACEALONE 30 Apr, 2013

    Just FABULOUS!

  • hardcoreragdoll 23 Mar, 2013

    YOU CANNOT GO WRONG WITH THIS RECIPE!!! I have made this so many times it's ridiculous. Everyone thinks i am a chef and they love it. Chicken is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. i cook about 50-60 minutes and its fabulous. I used a chicken already seasoned with herbs sitting in a marinade from the store. If you can find it you're golden people :)

  • Janine Bradberry 26 Jul, 2012

    Fabulous! Delicious every time, even when it wasn't perfect, and my new favorite everyday kind of chicken recipe.

  • Bmasteller 1 Nov, 2011

    Chicken is chicken, right? I had split chicken breasts that needed to be cooked, so I tried them with this recipe and my family went wild for it. (I always trim off excess yellow fat showing.)

    Next time it was leg quarters - NOT GOOD. There was too much liquified fat left in the skillet. The dish was incredibly greasy.

    Wish Lucinda would tell us about how much "pan drippings" is enough, because not all chickens are the same in fat content

  • MNMags 18 Sep, 2011

    This is a GREAT staple chicken recipe at our house! and the leftovers are just as good as the first servings. Easier and tastier than an old fashioned roast chicken any day!

  • gramdal 7 Feb, 2011


  • leaharmstrong 26 Jan, 2011

    I can't find the written recipe any longer, just the video... can you please repost

  • Bell77 8 Jan, 2011

    My kids and I loved making this dish together. The only problem I found is that you did not add in your recipe for how long to put the chicken in the oven. I had to find a video to hear your instructions.

  • kukas1410 22 Sep, 2010

    This chicken was so good and so easy! one of the best roasted chicken recipes I have ever had. Thanks so much Lucinda!!! fantastic!!!

  • Annapolis01 20 Sep, 2010

    Delicious! It was so easy. This is going to become my standard Monday night meal.

  • peabuddy 16 Sep, 2010

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this show!! The recipes are so easy to follow and Lucinda makes it so easy that my kids can even do this. Thank you so much..

  • klammy 15 Sep, 2010

    Thank you for this great show! Love the presentation, and the simple, easy, delicious recipes. klammy

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