Try your hand at Brenda Fawdon’s slow-roasted chicken.
An oval French oven (a cast-iron, enamel-coated casserole dish with a lid) works perfectly for slow-roasting chicken, or you can use a roasting tin covered with a few layers of foil. Slow-roasting creates a moist and succulent ‘fall off the bone’ type of bird and is delicious served with my favourite simple salad, which I call ‘just leaves’. As far as I’m concerned, there are three essential elements to a good green salad – freshly picked leaves (as close as you can get), a salad spinner and a delicious dressing or vinaigrette. Keep your leaves as crisp as possible by wrapping in a damp tea towel and refrigerating. If you like, add fresh sprouts, seasonal herbs or avocado chunks to the salad.
Ingredients (serves four)
- 1.5 kg organic chicken
- 2 large carrots, cut in half lengthwise
- 200 ml white wine or water
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 1 bunch thyme
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- hot honey seeded mustard, to serve
- Just the leaves of one large handful each of red veined sorrel, upland cress, red oak lettuce, rinsed and drained
- 1 handful flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked, rinsed and drained
- 100 ml sweet lemon dressing or lemon verbena dressing
Preheat the oven to 140°C. Place an oven rack on the middle shelf of the oven. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towel.
Arrange the carrots, cut side down, in a French oven or cast-iron casserole dish and add the wine. Put the chicken on a clean board and trim away the excess fat, parson’s nose, neck and wing tips. Stuff with the lemon halves and thyme, and tie the legs together with kitchen string. Rub the chicken all over with the ghee and sit the chicken on the carrots in the dish. Season with the salt and pepper and cover with the lid. Roast the chicken for two hours and then increase the oven temperature to 180°C and remove the lid. Roast for a further 30 minutes, or until the chicken is crisp and golden. Remove from the oven, loosely cover with foil and set aside to rest for 10–15 minutes before carving.
Meanwhile, put all of the green leaves and the parsley in a salad spinner and spin to dry. Place the leaves in a large bowl and dress before serving (allow for 25–30 ml dressing for each person).
Serve the slow-roasted chicken with hot honey seeded mustard and just leaves.
You can purchase Wholehearted Food from the UQP website.
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