This slow roast chicken is unbelievably moist – roasting it at such a low temperature makes it almost impossible to dry out – and the flavours of the lemon, garlic and rosemary in the cavity really penetrate into the meat.
If you know you’ll be home all afternoon, there is no better dinner to make, as you can bask in the amazing aromas that will drift out from your kitchen for hours.
Slow Roast Chicken Recipe
This recipe is adapted from River Café Two Easy by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers and uses lemon and rosemary to infuse the chicken with delicious flavours while you roast it slowly. The recipe serves 4 people.
- 1 x 2 kg whole chicken
- 1 lemon
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 200 ml water
- 50 g unsalted butter, melted
- 125 ml dry white wine (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 80°C.
- Cut the lemon in half. Rub one half of the lemon all over the chicken, getting as much juice onto the skin as you can.
- Season the cavity with salt and pepper and add in the garlic, rosemary and both lemon halves.
- Place the chicken upside down in a roasting tin just large enough to hold it. Add the water.
- Cook for 1 hour, then turn right side up (I can usually just do this with my bare hands since the roasting temperature is so low). Return it to the oven and cook for another hour, then turn upside down again and cook for yet another hour (i.e. the chicken cooks for 3 hours at 80°C).
- Remove the chicken from the oven and raise the temperature to 200°C. Brush the melted butter all over the skin, season generously with salt and pepper and add the wine to the pan (you can leave out the alcohol altogether if you prefer – it won’t affect the flavor of the chicken, just the pan juices).
- Return the chicken to the oven (make sure it finishes right side up) and cook for 30 minutes, until golden brown and the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving. Serve with the lemony, salty juices from the pan drizzled over.