• 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons grated fresh lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 (4 1/2-5 pound) whole chickens
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly oil 2 large rimmed baking sheets.
  2. Combine the garlic, cilantro, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and coriander in a medium bowl; mix well.
  3. Working one chicken at a time, using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut along both sides of the backbone and remove it. Cut through the breastbone so that you have two halves. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Pat the chicken halves dry with paper towels then season with salt and pepper. Place the chickens on the prepared baking sheets, cut side down, and rub all over with the garlic mixture.
  4. Roast the chicken 10 minutes then rotate the pans up and down, front to back. Roast 10 minutes longer then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Roast the chickens 15 minutes then baste with the pan juices and rotate the pans again. Roast another 15 minutes, basted with pan juices and rotate the pans. Continue roasting until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before cutting each chicken half into two pieces. Serve with pan juices.