1 whole 3- to 4-pound chicken, trimmed of excess fat, rinsed, dried and split, backbone removed
1 tablespoon fresh minced rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon peeled and coarsely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, optional
1 lemon, cut into quarters
Place the chicken on a cutting board, skin side down, and using your hands,
press down hard to make it as flat as possible.
Mix together the rosemary leaves, salt, pepper, garlic and 1 tablespoon
of the olive oil, and rub this all over the chicken. Tuck some of the mixture
under the skin as well. If time permits, cover and marinate in the refrigerator
for up to a day (even 20 minutes of marinating boosts the flavor).
When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Heat an ovenproof 12-inch skillet (preferably nonstick) over medium-high
heat for about 3 minutes.
Press rosemary sprigs, if using, into the skin side of the chicken. Put
remaining olive oil in the pan and wait about 30 seconds for it to heat up.
Place the chicken in the skillet, skin side down, along with any remaining pieces
of rosemary and garlic; weight it with another skillet or with one or two bricks
or rocks, wrapped in aluminum foil. The idea is to flatten the chicken by applying
weight evenly over its surface.
Cook over medium-high to high heat for 5 minutes, then transfer to the oven.
Roast for 15 minutes more.
Remove from the oven and remove the weights; turn the chicken over (it will
now be skin side up) and roast 10 minutes more, or until done (large chickens
may take an additional 5 minutes or so).
Serve hot or at room temperature, with lemon wedges.
Yield: 4 servings
Per serving: 410 calories, 45 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 25 g fat, 135
mg cholesterol, 125 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 54%