Tuesday, May 24, 2011

best-ever roast chicken recipe

I do love a good roast chook, and here's my quick and simple recipe for a tasty roast.

1 Free-range chicken {it has to be free-range!}
1 lemon
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
Two pieces of streaky bacon
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup of white wine
Olive oil.

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius.

Bring chicken to room temperature by leaving out of fridge for 15 to 30 minutes {taking care in summer!}.

Rinse the chicken inside and out under running water, and shake off any excess. Pat the chicken dry with kitchen towel or a clean tea towel. Sprinkle with olive oil and massage it in well. Next, season with salt and pepper all over the skin, and inside the cavity. Cut the lemon in half and place it inside the chicken cavity, along with the sprigs of thyme. Place chicken on a rack inside a baking tray. If you don't have a roasting rack, make a 'trivet' out of sticks of carrot and thickly sliced onions - you need to keep the chicken off the base of the tray. Pour white wine into the tray. Place the bacon over the breast of the chicken.

Place in the oven and roast for around 15 - 25 minutes per 500g. You can baste the meat with pan juices every 15 minutes if you like. With 15 minutes of cooking to go, remove bacon from breasts, it should be nice and crispy and you can either eat it yourself {as a cook's treat} or chop it up and place it over the vegies.

Chicken is done when the skin is golden brown and you can stick a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh and the juice flows clear {not pink}. Otherwise, get yourself a meat thermometer for failproof cooking.

Remove chicken from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Cover it loosely with a tea towel while it's resting. Make a gravy from the pan drippings by adding a little chicken stock to the white wine and pan juices. Place pan on a hotplate and stir while bringing to a boil. Simmer for up to five minutes while the sauce thickens.

Serve with plenty of roasted vegies and a stack of greens. {And don't forget to use the leftover chicken carcass to make stock: cover with water, add an onion, a carrot and some thyme and simmer for an hour}


  1. Oooh, good question Michele. Basically it just freshens it up after being wrapped in plastic. I also rinse the cavity until the water runs clear...

  2. My husband hates roasted chicken but this looks so delicious I may just have to sneak it in one evening!

  3. Here I am again! Free range chickens are not readily available around here. Is your "must use" a personal choice?

  4. Hi PF, yes, it is a personal choice. I don't like the way cage-reared chickens are treated in Australia so will always choose free range. Same with pork when it's available.