This delicious roast chicken recipe provides the step-by-step instructions for the perfect roast dinner. Full of flavour, moist, great for family gatherings or dinner parties – it’s a winner for a gluten free roast and with all the herbs there’s no need for added salt.
- 1 medium-sized free-range chicken
- 1 cup mixed fresh herbs – oregano, marjoram, thyme
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lemon
- 1 head garlic, left whole
- 3-4 shallots, peeled
- extra virgin olive oil
- pepper as desired
- 2 HOURS BEFORE COOKING, put half the herbs and pepper in a small container and add enough olive oil to cover. Place in the freezer.
- When you’re ready to cook, pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
- Clean the chicken by running it under cold water, letting the water wash through the cavity and over the skin as well.
- Pat the chicken dry inside and out with kitchen paper.
- Sprinkle the inside with pepper.
- Put the chicken on a roasting tray.
- Take the container of herbs and olive oil from the freezer – it should be firm but not frozen.
- To get the herbs and oil under the breast skin, gently place your fingers under the skin and push along close to the breast meat to create a pocket over each chicken breast.
- Gently start pushing the herbs mixture into the 2 pockets, being careful not to tear the skin.
- Roll the lemon back and forth under the palm of your hand until you feel it ‘give’ to release the juice.
- Slice the lemon in half; Place into the cavity of the chicken with the sliced side facing in, squeeze out all the juice and leave the spent lemon in place at the back of the cavity.
- Add the bay leaf and sprig of rosemary and add the second half, sliced side facing into the cavity, squeezing out all of the juice into the chicken. This half-lemon stays in the cavity opening.
- Either side of the cavity there should be a flap of skin, take a sharp knife and make a cut, just big enough to push a leg through.
- Do not cut too near the edge otherwise it will tear. Now bring the other leg across and push this through the same hole, essentially creating a wrap for both legs to close over the cavity.
- Make two diagonal cuts on the meat of each leg so it cooks together with the rest of the chicken.
- Rub all of the skin and fill the incisions on the legs with olive oil, sprinkle with pepper and the rest of the herbs.
- Put the chicken in the oven at 200°C for 30 minutes.
- Peel the shallots. After 30 minutes, take out the tray, add shallots and the head of garlic together with a splash of olive oil turn the oven down to 180°C and cook for approximately 1 hour.
- Remove chicken from the oven, cover with aluminium foil and place in a warm spot, allow to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Assemble the other parts of the roast, carve and serve with the roasted head of garlic and the shallots.
- For make a complete meal try serving alongside Vegetable Slice and a green salad.
- For the garlic lovers serve alongside this amazing Garlic sauce