Chef Kaysen sears his lemon-herb marinated chicken in a pan to crisp up the skin before roasting it. Then he uses deeply charred scallions to flavor an Asian-influenced vinaigrette, which adds a rich complexity to the finished dish. This recipe is a big hit in the Kaysen household—and we're sure you'll love it, too.
Marinade: Peel and julienne the onion. Halve the lemon, then cut it into thin slices. Place zip-top bag into a large mixing bowl to keep contents from spilling, then place sliced onion and lemon into the bag. Pull rosemary and thyme leaves off their sprigs, roughly chop, and add to the bag. Add salt and oil, then mix to combine. Set aside.
Break down the chicken: First, cut away the wings. Then cut the leg and thigh away from each side, being careful to include the "oysters" from the carcass. Separate the legs from thighs. Cut down either side of the backbone and remove the breasts. (Reserve remaining carcass for stock.) Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and massage the bag to coat. Remove as much air as you can from the bag before sealing it. Marinate at room temperature for 30–45 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 2 hours. (Chef Kaysen doesn't recommend marinating for longer than 2 hours, due to the highly acidic nature of this marinade.)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Transfer all the contents of the zip-top bag into the mixing bowl. Line a clean surface with paper towels and pat chicken pieces dry. In a large sauté pan over high heat, add oil. When it’s hot and shimmering, carefully add the chicken and some of the solids from the marinade to the pan. (Work in batches if necessary; do not crowd the pan.) Sear the chicken, about 2 minutes per side. Evenly distribute butter pieces in the pan. After the skin has begun to caramelize, transfer pan to the oven. Allow to roast for a total of 15–20 minutes, until the juices run clear (not pink) for both the white and dark meat. (Alternatively, chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F.) Meanwhile, make the Charred Scallion Vinaigrette.
Charred Scallion Vinaigrette: In a sauté pan over high heat, add 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil. When it’s hot and shimmering, add the scallions; cook, turning occasionally with tongs, until the scallions are charred all over, 8–10 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and mince the ginger, followed by the garlic. In a mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, the lemon juice, ginger and garlic. Whisk in remaining grapeseed oil (about 3 tablespoons). Remove charred scallions from the pan; chop and add to vinaigrette. Stir to combine, then taste and adjust with more lemon juice as needed. Set aside.
Assembly: Remove chicken from oven. It’s fully cooked when the meat has shrunk and pulls away from the bone (it’s easy to tell on the leg). Arrange chicken pieces on a serving platter, along with plenty of roasted lemon and onion. Spoon Charred Scallion Vinaigrette over the top before serving.