Makes 4 servings. Difficulty
1 small lemon, zested and juiced 2 garlic cloves, peeled 1 small handful of Italian parsley 1 small sprig of tarragon, stemmed 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 whole free range chicken
Place the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, herbs and olive oil in a blender and process just until the herbs are finely chopped and the mixture is somewhat emulsified. Once blended add a pinch of salt and a about 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
Holding the chicken upright, cut down one side of the back bone, then repeat on the other side of the back bone (save the back bone for making chicken stock at another time). Lay the chicken skin-side down open it up to expose the breast bone. Cut down the center of the breast bone. You should end up with 2 chicken halves, less the back. Place the chicken halves in a shallow dish or put them in a large zip lock bag. Pour the marinade all over the chicken halves, rubbing it into every nook and cranny. Cover the chicken or seal the zip lock bag and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to let the flavors develop – you can cook the chicken right away but the flavors will richer if you let it marinate.
Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Place the chicken halves on small shallow roasting pan (large enough to accommodate the halves without them touching each other or the pan sides). Cook in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until juices run clear when pierced with a fork and the exterior is golden and crisp. Transfer to a platter and tent with foil. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. (Serves 4)