By Lucinda Scala Quinn
There's all that talk about the chicken and the egg. Can I suggest a quick change to the conversation? The chicken and the lemon: They don't waste time squabbling over birth order -- they just have an amazing affinity for working together, bringing flavor and moxie to the dishes they costar in. Plus, right now, citrus is at its tart, juicy best. The trio of recipes here (which I developed with food editor Greg Lofts) start with a roast spatchcock of the bird. Flattened on a pan along with shallots and sliced lemons (rinds and all), the chicken will cook one-third faster than by the traditional method, with an irresistibly crunchy skin. Because we slip lemon slices under the skin as well, the meat is permeated with its citrusy brightness. Eat the bird as is, or shred the meat for weeknight riffs on classics such as chicken-and-rice soup or frisee lardons salad, which highlight the many levels of flavor that roasted lemon and caramelized rind bring to a dish. You'll find that nagging question "Which came first?" replaced by the much happier "Can I have seconds?"