I adore playing around with old favourites like the humble roast chook. This is a simple yet flavoursome recipe – you really need to make it to understand how a smattering of spices can elevate a roast chicken to such a memorable dish. As always, double or even triple the recipe so that you have lots of meat leftover for breakfast and lunch the next day – you could enjoy it with eggs in the morning, or shred the meat and add veggies to create a salad or stir-fry.
4 free-range chicken marylands (about 1 kg)
2 tbsp duck fat, coconut oil or other good quality fat, melted
1½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1½ tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 carrots, cut lengthwise
2 lemons –1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges
3 baby fennel bulbs, cut into wedges
1 large brown onion, cut into wedges
250ml (1cup) chicken stock or water
¼ bunch kale, stalks removed and leave torn
- Season the chicken marylands with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Place them into a large bowl and set aside. In another bowl, add the lemon juice, duck fat, coriander seeds, smoked paprika, balsamic vinegar and garlic, then mix until well combined. Pour the marinade over the chicken and rub into the skins. Cover with plastic wrap and place the refrigerator for 1 hour to marinate.
- Preheat the oven to 200C . Arrange the fennel, carrots, onions and lemon wedges in a single layer in a deep roasting pan. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Place the marinated chicken on top, and pour the marinade liquid and chicken stock over the chicken.
- Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for 35–40 minutes, occasionally basting the chicken with the pan juices until the chicken is cooked through and golden.
- 8 minutes before the chicken is ready, gently toss the kale through, mixing with the juices from the pan to ensure it is well covered and will not dry out and burn. Add a little more sea salt and pepper if needed.
- Remove from the oven when cooked. Serve with your choice of sides.