Most Sundays, my grandson, Teddy comes to my house and we cook roast chicken and vegetarian fried rice. In my younger days we had no Sundays off - every day was a restaurant day. Now, I have a little bit more time and I like Sundays with my family, cooking and, of course, eating.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (36 votes)


  • 1.5 kg free-range chicken (no bigger), washed and dried thoroughly inside and out
  • olive oil for coating the skin


The cavity

  • thumb-sized piece of  ginger, grated
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp brown sugar
  • few drops sesame oil
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed, washed and folded into three
  • ¾ tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, skin on and lightly smashed
  • 2–3 tbsp Shaoxing wine (not salty cooking Shaoxing wine)
  • 1–2 grinds white pepper


The sauce

  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ tsp potato flour


For Teddy's vegetarian fried rice

  • 2½ tbsp light olive oil or sunflower oil (add extra if needed)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 30 g shelled sugar peas
  • 10–12 sugar pea pods, string removed, washed and finely chopped
  • 60 g small to medium Swiss brown mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • tsp peeled and finely diced ginger
  • 35 g freshly cooked sweet corn kernels
  • 400 g steamed rice
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • young spring onions, outer layer removed and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 400 g steamed rice
  •  ½ tsp sea salt
  • young spring onions, outer layer removed and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce

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 185°C.

Combine the cavity ingredients in a bowl and place in chicken cavity. Close the back of the chicken with a skewer, making sure to gather in all the loose skin so the moisture stays in.

Rub chicken skin with olive oil and sea salt, and put chicken on a rack placed in a roasting dish containing ½ cup of water. Roast for 65 minutes, then remove from oven and drain any cavity juices into the roasting pan. Cover chicken and rest for 5 minutes.

To make the sauce, combine water and potato flour. Skim any fat from the juices in the pan, and de-glaze (stir to mix in any flavours stuck to the bottom of the pan). Add water and potato flour mixture and stir over a low heat until thickened. Strain.

To make the fried rice, place a large wok over a medium heat and add 1½ tablespoons of oil. When oil is shimmering, add eggs and quickly stir until beginning to firm, then remove from wok and set aside. 

Add ½ tablespoon of oil and remaining ingredients, except the spring onions and soy sauce. Stir for 30 seconds, breaking up the rice. Return egg to wok and add soy sauce and remaining oil, and combine. When hot enough, stir spring onions through.

Serve chicken with sauce and Teddy's fried rice.


Recipe and image from The Great Australian Cook by Helen Greenwood & Melissa Leong (Five Mile Press) $49.99 available now. 

Watch Melissa Leong in SBS's brand-new series The Chefs' Line which airs 6pm, weeknights on SBS. To win a copy of this book ENTER NOW right here.