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Recipe Category: Main Courses

French-style Roast Chicken

This butterflied whole chicken is seasoned with a herb butter under the skin giving it great flavour and crispness.

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
  • 125g softened butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs*
  • 1 lemon
  • 1.8kg free range chicken
  • 4 golden shallots or 1 large onion, peeled
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 1 bunch dutch carrots, trimmed and scrubbed
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Combine butter, garlic, herbs and grated lemon rind together to make herb butter. Using a sharp cooks knife, cut down the backbone of the chicken only, and open out, skin side up, flattening with the heel of your hand. Tuck the tips of the wings underneath the body of the chicken. Using fingers, carefully loosen the skin between the flesh of the breast, thigh and leg of the chicken. Work the herb butter in between the skin and the flesh, pressing and spreading it to cover evenly. Re-shape the chicken and place in the centre of a roasting tray. Sprinkle with the juice of 1/2 a lemon and tuck the skins underneath. Cut shallots in half, cut fennel into wedges and arrange around the chicken together with the carrots. Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and wine. Season with salt and pepper and roast at 200°C for 45 minutes - 1 hour, until the chicken is golden and the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer. Remove chicken and vegetables onto a serving platter and garnish with extra herb leaves. Mix mustard into pan juices and serve as a sauce to accompany the chicken.


* Any mix of soft fresh herbs can be used to flavour the butter but a mixture of tarragon and parsley or chervil gives a great French flavour!


The herb butter can be combined with 1/2 cup finely chopped smoked almonds and used to stuff 500g open flat mushrooms, then roast at 200°C, covered with foil for 15-20 minutes until tender.

Recipe Type: Roast

Author: Naomi Crisante
Date Created: 28/05/2019