“For me, there’s nothing quite like a crispy roast chicken, but it can be easy to to get wrong, resulting in dry breast meat or soggy skin. This method guarantees a perfect roast chicken every time. The herby butter protects the breast meat while basting the bird with their delicious flavours. It’s perfect served with salad, roast potatoes and parsley pesto for a summery Sunday roast.”
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
1 large free range chicken
A handful of chopped parsley
Zest of 1 lemon
6 sprigs of rosemary
2 tbsp butter
Leaves from 1 sprig of rosemary, chopped
1 onion, cut into 8 wedges
Preheat the oven to 220/200C fan.
To prepare the chicken, grasp the skin behind the breasts and gently pull it away from the breast meat, taking care not to tear it. Slide your fingers under the skin and continue to separate the skin from the meat until you have two large pockets. If you have short fingers you can use a wooden spoon to help you. Sprinkle a little sea salt into each of the pockets and drizzle in some olive oil. Finally, mix the butter with the chopped herbs and lemon zest and stuff into each of the pockets, covering the breasts.
Next, rub sea salt into the cavity and stuff with the rosemary sprigs and two halves of the whole lemon. Drizzle a little olive oil over the chicken, followed by a sprinkle of sea salt and cracked black pepper. Rub the oil all over the chicken with your hands and score the top of the legs and thighs with a sharp knife, leaving a series of deep cuts that will help the heat penetrate deep into the dark meat.
Cut an onion into 8 wedges and break into separate layers with your fingers. Throw the onions into a large roasting tin and nestle the chicken on top. This will prevent it from catching on the bottom of the tin. Put the tin in the oven and cook for 1 hour.
Serve as part of a traditional sunday spread, or for a more summery twist, accompany with pesto, salad and crispy roast potatoes.