Photography by Darren Bester
In my top 5 favourite meals of all time … Roast Chicken is definitely up there! I remember as a child, as I’m sure we all do, finding the wish bone and then finding someone to snap it with, the winner received the honour of making a wish. I took my wish making very seriously. Still today, very little comes close to a roast chicken just out the oven, with its crispy skin and tender meat, throw in some of my Mom’s famous roast potatoes, some veggies and gravy and I am one happy lady! I’m a leg & thigh kinda gal … so if you ever round at my house for dinner and I offer you the leg & thigh … you can be sure that I’m a fan of yours. This recipe has served me well for years, the lemon and herb combo bring a freshness to the roast without compromising on the crispy skin.
1 large free Range Chicken
2 large handfuls of fresh Rosemary & Parsley, chopped
1 lemon, halved
2 extra sprigs of Rosemary for the cavity of the chicken
Coarse Salt & Black Pepper
Couple of glugs of olive oil
Remove chicken from the fridge half an hour before cooking & discard packaging. Pat dry with some carlton towel and set aside in a safe place
Preheat the oven and roasting tray to 190ºc
Pull up the skin at the tip of the chicken breasts, being careful not to tear it. Separate the skin from the meat of the breast bone by using a sharp knife to cut through the little bit of tissue holding the two together in the middle. Mix together the mixed herbs with some salt and a small dash of olive oil and then stuff into this pocket you have created, spreading it down and all around this side of the bird. Pull the skin back to where it was to ensure none of the flesh is exposed as this will dry out during cooking. Put the lemon halves (removing any visible pips) and the Rosemary sprigs into the cavity of the chicken. Use cooking string to tie the legs of the chicken together, to help keep the stuffing inside the bird. Rub the chicken generously with olive oil, salt & black pepper. Remove the roasting try and add a few glugs of olive oil before adding the bird and roasting for plus minus 70 – 80 minutes.
Chicken is cooked when the juices from the thigh run clear.
Cooks Note: Use whatever herbs you have handy – I’ve tried many combinations by simply using what I had available and haven’t had a disappointment yet. Remember, all ovens are different so start checking your bird from around the 60 minute mark.