Simple Sunday Roast Chicken

A delicious, yet simple roast chicken – perfect for a big Sunday meal.


  • Whole chicken
  • Few tablespoons Olive oil
  • Lemon peels, freshly peeled, reserve juice
  • Lemon (whole)
  • Garlic, whole head
  • Rosemary, a few sprigs – dipped in boiling water just before use
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C, with a roasting pan.
  2. Add the lemon peels, whole head of garlic (don’t bother peeling it) and sprigs of rosemary to a mortar and pestle and work it to release all the beautiful flavours.
  3. Add a glug or two of good quality olive oil, a bit of salt and some black pepper and gently mix through
  4. Rub the marinade all over and under your chicken
  5. Stuff the whole lemon up the opening of the chicken. If you can, boil the lemon first (in whatever water you are boiling for side dishes to your roast) and stab the hot lemon a few times before shoving it up.
  6. Place chicken on hot roasting tray and roast in oven for an hour to an hour and a half.
  7. The chicken is done when the leg meat is tender to the touch and breaks off easily.

Notes – about forty minutes before your chicken is done, add some parboiled potatoes to the pan, making sure to coat them liberally with the pan juices.

After chicken is done, use pan juices to make a delicious gravy. Squeeze the flesh from the garlic that are still in tact, scrape off all the goodness from the bottom of the pan into a small saucepan and add a few tablespoons of flour, mixing through to get a thick roux, now you can add some wine, or water to get the consistency that you like, stirring all the time. Put the gravy through a mesh and serve warm.


I must admit that I’ve never really been that much into celebrity chefs, even though I love watching cooking shows, competitive reality shows being my guilty pleasure…

I did however fall in love with Jamie Oliver’s cooking earlier this year – I think that when I got over the hype that instantly made him unappealing to me for many years, and actually sat down and got to know his cooking, I finally got why he’s so famous – and I wish him many more years of cooking greatness! If I had to say, I think it is the energy and obvious enjoyment that he brings to his meals, the simplicity of most of them, and naturally his obsession with healthy eating and animal welfare that won him over for me. This roast is from a rerun of an old series of his called Oliver’s Twist.



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