There’s a great chicken shop near my apartment in Bondi that sells delicious free range roast chickens, fresh steamed vegetables and tasty salads. For years, I never understood why people went to the trouble to roast their own chickens when it’s so easy and affordable to buy them. Last year, I had this dish at a friend’s place and loved it so much that I borrowed the recipe. I’ve since adapted it and it’s now one of my Sunday roast favourites, which often takes us through to Monday nights if there are just two of us.
- 1 organic/free range chicken – I’ve tried with varying sizes, anywhere from 1.2 – 1.8kg (2.6 – 4lbs) works well
- 1 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 fresh lemons
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-4 large potatoes: washed, peeled and cut into chunks (around 2-3cm/1 inch in size)
- 2 brown/spanish onions – cut into wedges (around 8-10 per onion)
- 8 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut the lemons in half and juice them by hand using a citrus juicer, then add the juice, olive oil, oregano and mustard to a jar with a lid. Keep the skin of one of the lemons and place it in the cavity of the chicken along with 3 garlic cloves, then season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and place in a roasting dish.
The number of potatoes you’ll need will depend on how much room you have remaining in the roasting dish once you’ve placed the chicken in it (in the photograph above I’ve used 2 large potatoes). Assemble the potatoes, onion and remaining garlic cloves around the chicken so that everything is nestled in well.
Shake the lemon juice and olive oil mixture well and pour over the chicken and potatoes so that you’ve coated everything well, then add a cup of water to the roasting dish – trying not to wash away the marinade from the chicken and potatoes.
Roast for 1 hour until golden brown then turn the chicken and roast for another hour.
Serve with steamed green vegetables which are absolutely delicious drizzled with the liquid from the roasting pan.