Mumma Kwong's roast chicken

New look roast chook.
New look roast chook. Photo: William Meppem

Among our family and friends, Mum has become renowned for her unique and delicious version of roast chicken. Choose the highest quality free-range or organic chicken you can find. You can add your preferred spices to this as well – cumin and fennel would work really well. Or use honey instead of hoisin, add chilli flakes for a spicy note, and for a native Australian vibe, add Davidson's plum instead of the Chinese plum sauce.

Ingredients

1.6kg free-range chicken

2 tsp salt flakes

½ tsp five-spice powder

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 spring onions, halved

2 tsp sesame oil

2 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tbsp hoisin sauce

1 tbsp plum sauce

Method

Preheat oven to 220C. Rinse chicken under cold water. Trim away excess fat from inside and outside the cavity and discard. Trim off neck, parson's nose and winglets, freeze and use in stock. Pat chicken thoroughly dry inside and out with kitchen paper.

Combine salt with the five-spice powder and rub inside chicken cavity. Stuff cavity with the crushed garlic and spring onion.

Rub the outside of the chicken with sesame oil. Place breast-side up, on a wire rack in a roasting tin and pour enough boiling water into the tin to reach a depth of 5mm.

Roast for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 180C and continue roasting for 35 minutes, adding more boiling water to the tin if it begins to dry out. To test if the chicken is ready, pierce the thigh with a skewer; if the juices run clear the chicken is cooked.

Remove chicken from oven and allow to rest in the tin, loosely covered with foil, in a warm place for 15 minutes. Reserve cooking juices in tin.

When you're ready to serve, use a sharp knife or cleaver to cut the chicken in half through the breastbone. Transfer the garlic and spring onion from the cavity to a small saucepan, along with any cooking juices from inside the bird. Add reserved juices from roasting tin, scraping any cooked-on bits from the base of the tin into saucepan. Place saucepan over high heat, add soy sauce, hoisin and plum sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes, just to heat through and reduce slightly. Pour into a small serving bowl.

Chop chicken Chinese-style and arrange on a serving platter. Serve with the sauce on the side for dipping. 

Serve with Kylie Kwong's Asian-style coleslaw.