Roast Chicken With Herbs And Lemon

11:30 am on 14 February 2011


  • 1 roasting dish with a roasting rack
  • 2 large new potatoes, washed or peeled and sliced in half
  • 1 small fresh chicken
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 smallish lemon, sliced
  • 1  x  5cm length of a fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 200 ml white wine or chicken stock or water
  • 10g butter


Heat the oven to 200°C.  Wipe chicken inside and out with paper towel. Slip finger under the skin on the breast meat and place a bay leaf on each side.  Put the remaining bay leaves, the lemon slices and the rosemary sprig inside the chicken. Use hands to rub oil all over the chicken, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Put halved potatoes into the roasting dish.  Sprinkle with salt and add about 1.5 cm of water. Arrange the rack over the potatoes, put the chicken on its side in the rack and roast in the hot oven for 35 minutes. 

Remove the roasting dish, turn the potatoes, add a little more water if necessary, turn chicken onto its other side and return to oven for 35-40 minutes.

Test the potatoes – they should be tender and slightly crusty from lemony chicken juices/fat.  Remove and keep warm if they’re cooked.

Test the chicken for doneness by piercing a thigh. If juices run pink, replace in oven and cook another 10 minutes then test again.  Repeat if necessary. Remove and keep warm for about 10 minutes.

Put the roasting pan over a high heat, discard and scrape up any sticky bits stirring them into the juices. Add the wine/or stock to the pan and boil vigorously until the sauce is thicker. Reduce heat.  At this point cook the beans. 

To finish the sauce, stir in the butter and cook for a minute or two until the sauce is shiny. Keep warm.

To serve

Carve the chicken, arrange on a platter, surround with potatoes and beans.  Serve sauce separately.

John Hawkesby’s wine recommendation

Clearview Te Awanga 2010

Pinot Noir
Valli Gibbston Vineyard 2008

From Nine To Noon

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