Liven up a simple roast chicken by wrapping it in a cider-soaked cloth. This technique will add a gentle perfume to the meat while you’re readying other recipes, or strolling to your favourite picnic spot. You could also experiment with verjuice or beer in place of the cider.






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  • 1.8 kg whole free-range chicken 
  • olive oil, to cook 
  • 200 ml dry cider 
  • tarragon mayonnaise, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat oven to 180°C. Pat chicken dry with paper towel. Lightly oil chicken and season with salt and pepper. Roast chicken for 1 hour or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of its thigh is pierced.

Soak a tea towel in cider and wrap around hot chicken so it steams in the cider for at least 1 hour. Place on a tray and serve with the tarragon mayonnaise as a dipping sauce, or to spread on sandwiches.


As seen in Feast magazine, Feb 2012, Issue 6. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.

Photography by Alan Benson.