Everyone has a favourite roast chicken recipe, and this is mine – a slightly radical version of the classic roast chook, using Chinese double-cooking techniques for a juicy chicken with maximum flavour. The chicken is first ‘steamed’ in the oven under foil, so it doesn’t dry out, then the foil is removed and the heat turned up to give it a lovely crispy skin.
The chicken is first ‘steamed’ in the oven under foil, so it doesn’t dry out, then the foil is removed and the heat turned up to give it a lovely crispy skin.
- 1 x 1.5 kg (3 lb) free-range chicken
- ½ bunch tarragon
- 4 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped
- 100 g (3 ½ oz) unsalted butter, sliced
- 1 whole garlic bulb
- 10 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and cut into wedges
- 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
- 6 medium-sized kipfler potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
- 5 small golden shallots, unpeeled but cut in half
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch cracked white pepper
- sourdough bread, to serve
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 220°C (450°F). Rinse chicken under cold water. Trim away excess fat from inside and outside cavity, but keep neck, parson’s nose and winglets intact. Tuck wing tips under chicken. Place chicken in roasting tin, breast-side up.
- Place tarragon and half the rosemary inside cavity of chicken. Using your hands, carefully separate the skin from the meat over the breast and thighs of the chicken. Place the butter between the skin and the meat, spreading it evenly under the skin.
- Lightly crush unpeeled garlic cloves and scatter over chicken with bay leaves, salt and remaining rosemary.
- Place carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes and shallots around chicken, then drizzle with oil and sprinkle with pepper.
- Cover roasting tin with foil and roast for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 180°C (350°F). Take off foil and bake for a further 20 minutes, or until chicken is just cooked through and vegetables are tender. To test chicken, insert a skewer into the thigh and press against the meat – it is cooked when the juices run clear. The skin should be crisp and lightly browned. Remove chicken from oven, cover with foil and leave to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.
- Remove chicken from tin and serve with the roast vegetables and some crusty sourdough bread.