Roasted Halved Chicken with Garlic-Herb Paste

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 5 hr 25 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Inactive: 4 hr
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings
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4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1 lemon, zested

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for pans

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 (3 to 4-pound) chicken, skin-on, backbone removed and halved

Special equipment: 2 large cast iron skillets


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Garlic-Herb Paste: Combine the rosemary, lemon zest, garlic, olive oil, cayenne, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste, in a small bowl. Stir to incorporate.
  3. Rub chicken with Garlic-Herb Paste. Let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.
  4. Coat a large cast iron skillet lightly with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Oil the bottom of a second cast iron skillet, of equal or smaller size.
  5. Put the chicken, skin side down, in first pan, and top it with the second pan, oiled-side down on top of the chicken. If you don't have a second cast iron skillet, use a regular pan and weigh it down with 2 heavy cans. Sear chicken until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove top skillet, flip the chicken and transfer to the oven. Cook until chicken is cooked through, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.
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