The preference here is to par-cook the potatoes prior to roasting, which helps to ensure they will be golden, tender and cooked at the same time as the chicken.
- 6 large roasting potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
- fine sea salt
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1.8 kg (4 lb) whole free-range chicken
- 1 large brown onion, cut into 1-cm (½ in) thick rounds
- 3–4 fresh bay leaves
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp mild mustard
- 1 garlic clove, crushed pinch of sea salt
- 185 ml (6 fl oz/¾ cup) light-tasting olive oil
- 1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
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.
Resting time: 15-20 minutes
1. To make the herb mayonnaise, place the egg yolks, mustard and garlic in a bowl and season with the salt. Whisk to combine, then slowly add the oil, drop by drop, whisking continuously. Continue to whisk and start to add the oil in a steady stream, until the mixture is pale and thick. Stir through the parsley, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed. It will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.
2. Place the potato in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and add a generous pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then cover the pan and remove from the heat. Set aside for 10 minutes. Drain well and transfer the potato to a baking tray in an even layer to dry.
3. Preheat the oven to 220°C (440°F). Rub the butter all over the chicken. Place the onion in a large baking dish so they snugly fit, and sit the chicken on top. Put the bay leaves in the cavity of the chicken.
4. Toss the potato in a bowl with the olive oil, then tumble the potato around the chicken. Scatter the oregano over the chicken and evenly sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt over both the chicken and potato. Transfer to the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
5. Reduce the temperature to 180°C (350°F) and cook for a further 1 hour, or until the chicken skin and potato are golden. Insert a skewer between the leg and breast of the chicken; if the juices run clear, the chicken is cooked.
6. Remove the chicken to a serving plate, cover with foil and rest for 15–20 minutes. Leave the potato and onion in a low oven to keep warm. Carve the chicken and serve alongside the vegetables with the mayonnaise on the side.
Recipe from The Food of Argentina by Ross Dobson and Rachel Tolosa Paz, Smith Street Books, RRP $44.99