Spatchcocked Lemon-Thyme Chicken
Roasting a whole chicken can take several hours. That’s time you might not have tonight. Try spatchcocking the bird, or removing its backbone and flattening it, for quicker cooking.
1 whole 4-5-lb. chicken
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 lemons, thinly sliced
8 fresh thyme sprigs
3 small shallots, peeled and smashed
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Place chicken, breast side down, on a work surface. Starting at the head of the chicken, cut along one side of backbone with kitchen shears, then the other side, to remove it. Flip chicken over and press firmly on breastbone to flatten. Pat dry with paper towels.
Drizzle 1 Tbsp. oil in the center of a baking sheet. Place lemon slices, reserving 4, and 3 thyme sprigs in a single layer on top of oil. Toss shallots and garlic in 1 tsp. oil, season with salt, and place on top of lemon and thyme. All of this will flavor the chicken as it cooks.
Place chicken, skin side up, on top of the aromatics. Carefully tuck 2 lemon slices and 1 thyme sprig under the skin of each breast. Drizzle chicken with 1 tsp. oil, season with salt and pepper, and top with remaining thyme sprigs
Roast chicken until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast reaches 165°, 40-5 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes. Cut chicken into pieces and serve.