Roast herb and garlic chicken

    2 hours

    Rather than rubbing butter over chicken before roasting, here a paste of fresh herbs and ricotta cheese is pushed under the skin. This keeps the roasting chicken beautifully moist as well as adding a wonderful flavour.

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    Serves: 4 

    • 1 lemon
    • 1 whole chicken, about 1.5 kg, without giblets
    • small bunch coriander (1/2 cup)
    • small bunch parsley (1/2 cup)
    • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
    • 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
    • pepper to taste
    • 150 ml dry white wine
    • pepper to taste
    • lemon slices to garnish
    • sprigs fresh coriander or parsley to garnish

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:1hr45min  ›  Ready in:2hr 

    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grate the rind from the lemon, then cut the lemon in half. Hold the chicken on end in a small roasting pan and squeeze the lemon juice inside the cavity. Push the lemon halves inside the cavity and sprinkle in half the rind.
    2. Place the chicken in the pan, breast side up. Very carefully ease your fingers under the skin, starting at the neck end. Loosen the skin over the breasts and thighs, without breaking it.
    3. Combine the coriander, parlsey and garlic in a blender or food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the ricotta cheese, remaining lemon and pepper, and process again briefly to mix. Push the paste under the skin, easing it along so that it covers the breasts and thighs evenly in a thin layer. Secure the end of the neck skin by folding the wing tips underneath it.
    4. Cover the chicken with foil and roast for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and roast, uncovered, for a further 1–1 1/4 hours or until the juices run clear when a knife is inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. Baste once or twice with the juices in the tin.
    5. Lift up the chicken, tipping it so that the juices can run out of the cavity into the pan. Set the chicken aside on a wooden board to rest. Skim all the fat from the surface of the juices in the pan, then bring to the boil on top of the stove. Add the wine and bring back to the boil, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Boil the pan sauce for 1 minute. Season with pepper. Carve the chicken into slices or serving pieces. Garnish with lemon slices and sprigs of coriander or parsley, and serve with the pan sauce.

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