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Split Roasted Chicken

Ontario’s moist lemon garlic chicken can be prepared a day in advance and requires only 30 minutes of grilling or roasting. Enjoy with a fresh salad or rice pilaf.

 4 cloves garlic, minced
 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh dill
 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh thyme
 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest
 ½ tsp (2 mL) red pepper flakes
 ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
 ½ tsp (2 mL) cracked black pepper
 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
 1 2.5 lb (1.25 kg) to 3 lb (1.5 kg) Ontario chicken

In a small mixing bowl, stir together garlic, dill, thyme, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and olive oil to make a paste. Set aside.


Using kitchen shears, cut chicken down each side of backbone; remove backbone and wing tips (alternatively, you can ask your butcher to do this for you). Place, breast side up, on rimmed baking sheet, pressing firmly on backbone to flatten.


Using fingers and starting at the neck end of the chicken, gently loosen skin from breasts and legs to form pockets, leaving skin attached at edges. Slide the garlic mixture into the pockets, turn over and spread any remaining mixture inside chicken. Cover with plastic wrap or place in a re-sealable plastic bag and store up to one day or at least one hour before grilling or broiling.


Grill chicken over medium-high, indirect heat, turning once, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 185 F (85 C) when a thermometer is inserted in the thigh, about 30 minutes. Alternatively, roast chicken in a 400 F (200 C) oven for about 30 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces with clean kitchen shears or a sharp knife.

Cook's Notes:

Makes 6 to 8 servings