Amazing roast chicken

Amazing roast chicken




  • 1.6-1.8kg free-range chicken
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 handfuls fresh herbs (parsley, sage, basil or marjoram)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 large sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Kitchen string


Preheat oven to 200°C. Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry with kitchen paper.

Rub the cavity with salt. Very carefully, pull up the skin at the tip of the chicken breasts.

Use your other hand to separate the skin from the breast meat; a wriggling, creeping sort of motion! Do this for each breast to make two tunnels.

Sprinkle salt into each tunnel, push in some herbs and pour in about a teaspoon of olive oil.

Stuff the cavity with the lemon and rosemary (my kids thought this was hilarious).

Cut across each thigh three times and rub in some herbs.

Rub oil over the whole chicken and season with salt and pepper.

Pull the skin over the chicken breasts, tuck the wings under and tie up firmly.

I tied the legs and cavity first and then crossed the string under the end of the breasts, took the skin up to the other end of the chicken and tied down the other end of the breasts (the end where you stuffed in herbs).

This may or may not make sense when you are trying it, so just tie up the legs and tie down the stuffed end of the breasts!

Pour some oil into a roasting tray and place the chicken breast-side down.

Cook for 30 minutes, then remove pan from oven, leave a minute or so until the oil stops spitting, turn over and cook for another 30 minutes (you can add some peeled wedges of potato at this point).

Double check it is cooked by inserting a skewer into the breast, any juices that runs out should be clear.

Remove from oven, stand for 10 minutes, then carve and serve.


  • I will admit to not roasting a chicken for some time—the local supermarket does a pretty mean BBQ chicken. However, for surprisingly little effort (although it does mean being quite familiar with raw poultry) this roast chicken is infinitely superior to even your best local takeaway.
  • Buying a free-range chicken is the key.
  • I made a white wine ‘gravy’ by draining off most of the oil from the roasting tray, heating on the stove top, pouring in about one glass of wine and stirring to get all the nice crispy bits off the bottom of the pan.
  • Add juices from carved meat or some stock to increase the volume.
  • Recipe created by Melissa Hughes for Kidspot.

Serving Suggestions


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