1 ( 3 to 5 lb) Whole chicken
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 1/2 tsp Lemon zest
1 Tbsp garlic minced
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme chopped
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 large bay leaf
1 Lemon, halved
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Butterfly the chicken: remove the chicken giblets. Gently pat the chicken dry with paper towel. Place the whole chicken breast side down over large cutting board. Using a pair of kitchen shears to cut down each side of the back bone from the cavity up to the neck. Make a shallow incision cut in the cartilage of the back of the breastbone and use your hands to gently press both sides down to flatten the chicken.
2. Season your chicken with a sprinkle of salt on each side.
3. Combined your olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, red chili flakes and pepper in a large Ziploc bag or glass dish large enough to hold the flattened chicken.
4. Add your chicken, to the Ziploc bag or glass dish and turn to coat with marinade. Zip up your Ziploc bag or cover your glass dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or overnight, turning once or twice.
5. When ready to grill, prepare a hot coal fire on one side of your grill (or turn a gas grill on medium low heat) ( you can also cook chicken in the oven for 30 minutes at 375°F if you do not have a grill) . Spread 1/4 of the coals across the other side of the grill. Place your chicken on the cooler side skin side up, and weigh it down with a heavy dish. Cook your chicken for 12 to 15 minutes, until the underside is golden brown. Turn the chicken skin side down, and cook for another 12 to 15 minutes, until skin is golden brown and the chicken is fully cooked.
6. Place your lemon half’s on the grill, cut side down until lemons are slightly charred.
7. Remove your chicken to a cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for five minutes. Cut your chicken into quarters, sprinkle with salt and pepper serve with the grilled lemons and sprigs of rosemary.