Saturdays were special days. Apart from the joy of not having to attend school, it was also the day we usually took a trip to the nearest ‘hamlet’ - to shop and to visit the library – but most unusual was that we did not eat ‘Indian food’ for dinner on Saturdays. Amma usually made baked crumbed chicken, pasta, cottage pie or whole roasted chicken. Amma was quite fussy about the type of chicken she used to make roast chicken. Although we grew our own chicken (Zulu fowls) Amma preferred roasting what she called 'fresh chicken' (the fat brown hens which she cut and cleaned herself). She usually stuffed the chicken with bread crumbs and garlic. The excess liquid from the roasting process was used to make her special gravy with grated potatoes and carrots for thick gravy.
My version of Amma’s whole roasted chicken is a simple one-minus the bread stuffing to leave room for desert. I stuffed the chicken with garlic, fresh herbs and lemon, then basted with a garlic herb butter. Served with roasted masala and mustard seed wedges.
Apart from adding fresh flavor and aroma the lemon also helps tenderize the meat. This combined with the garlic herb butter results in a succulent roast chicken...sure to mesmerize the senses- not just the palate.
This Recipe forms part of the Simple Dinner Menu serving Rocket and Mandarin Salad and Warm Chocolate Cake
Lemon and Herb Whole Roasted Chicken
- 1 whole chicken
- a bunch of herbs including thyme, rosemary and sage
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 30 g butter
- 3 lemons
- black pepper
- optional 1 whole bulb of garlic sliced in half
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Wash and prepare the chicken. Remove excess skin, fat and feathers.Leave aside. N.B. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator at least 2 hours before you intend roasting it.
2. Make the garlic butter by combining the butter and 2 sprigs of thyme,1 rosemary and sage stalk chopped.Add 1 clove of crushed garlic,black pepper and salt .Mix then roll into a log.Set aside while you prepare the chicken.
4. Push the skin back then apply dots of garlic butter. Pull the skin back in place then fold over the opening of the cavity.Use toothpicks to seal the cavity.