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roast chook

This week we have had typical autumn weather. While we had more sun today than rain, there was still a chill in the air. Therefore, tonight was perfect for a family roast dinner.

My mother in law cooks a mean roast chicken, however it is laced in butter which doesn’t agree with most of us in our household (and just seems like a really unhealthy way of cooking). I have used Nuttlex in the past to get the same effect with good results. I have adapted her recipe to suit us…and I think it tastes pretty good! The liquid in the pan keeps the chicken meat moist.


1 whole chicken (preferably free range/organic) washed and patted dry.

1 litre of chicken stock

1 cup white wine (optional)

2 sprigs fresh tarragon (or a couple of teaspoons dried)

12 sprigs fresh thyme (or a couple of teaspoons dried)




Turn the oven onto 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit)

Place tarragon and thyme in the cavity, and add salt and pepper.

Close the cavity and tie off. You can use kitchen twine, silicone bands or use a flap of skin that is near the opening of the cavity (it is easiest to put a hole in it and then cross the chicken’s legs and put the end of the farthest drumstick through the hole).

Place the chicken in your roasting dish and pour in the stock and wine if using. Put the dish into the oven for about 1.5 hours (depending on the size of the chicken). During the cooking my mother in law turns the chicken regularly. I prefer not to do this as I like the skin to be crispy. I usually baste the chicken at about 15-20 minute intervals by spooning the stock in the bottom of the pan over the chicken. The chicken is cooked when you pierce the skin near the leg and the juice is clear.

When cooked, remove the chicken from the roasting pan. To make the jus/gravy, pour the remaining juices into a small saucepan and put in medium heat on the stove until reduced to a thick but pourable consistency. Watch that it doesn’t boil dry!

I served the chicken with a mix of roasted and steamed
vegetables. I put the roasting vegetables(pumpkin, potato, sweet potato, whole baby carrot) in the oven about 1 hour into the cooking of the chicken.