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Photo of Flattened chicken with lemon and garlic by WW

Flattened chicken with lemon and garlic

Total Time
1 hr 20 min
35 min
45 min
This impressive country-style dish stars traditional Italian favourites like eggplant and tomato.



2 medium


3 clove(s), crushed

Fresh flat-leaf parsley

cup(s), finely chopped, plus extra leaves to serve

Dried oregano

1 tsp

Whole chicken

630 g, (Buy 1.4kg)

Olive oil

1 tbs

Brown onion

1 medium, finely chopped


300 g, finely chopped


2 stick(s), finely chopped

Canned diced tomatoes

400 g, crushed

Red wine vinegar

1 tbs


  1. Preheat oven to 220°C. Finely grate the rind from the lemons. Thinly slice half a lemon. Juice the remaining lemons and reserve juice. Combine the lemon rind, garlic, parsley and oregano in a small bowl. Reduce oven to 200°C.
  2. Rinse the chicken under cold water. Pat dry inside and out with kitchen paper. Turn chicken, breast-side down, on a board. Using kitchen scissors, cut along each side of the backbone. Remove and discard.
  3. Turn chicken, breast-side up. Using the heel of your hand, press firmly on the breastbone to flatten. Place the chicken on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Tuck wings under breast bones. Using fingertips, ease chicken skin away from breasts, thighs and legs. Using your hand, spread the lemon rind mixture under the skin.
  4. Pour the reserved lemon juice over the skin of the chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter lemon slices around chicken. Bake for 45 minutes or until the skin is golden and juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer. Cover chicken with foil and set aside to rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Cook the onion, eggplant and celery, stirring, for 10 minutes or until softened. Add the tomato, 1/3 cup (80ml) water and vinegar. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until eggplant is tender and sauce is thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the chicken with the eggplant stew and extra parsley.