Turning the chicken upside down makes for tender meat. I had never thought of turning the whole chicken upside down after roasting until a friend showed me this technique, which results in incredibly moist breast and thigh meat and the bird being evenly cooked throughout. Rest the meat for at least half an hour so it reaches its succulent best.
1 x 1.6 kg chicken
2 tbsp softened butter
1 head of garlic, wrapped in foil
1 bunch parsley
½ bunch of fresh mint
5 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp diced preserved lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch dried chilli (optional)
1. Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Leave the chicken to come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 250C (230C fan-forced).
2. Slather chicken with butter. Dust with a sprinkling of salt flakes and place in a roasting pan on the centre shelf of the oven with the garlic. Roast for half an hour, remove, and rest for at least 30 minutes, breast side down. Remove garlic from foil, pulling the cloves apart.
3. Before serving, remove the legs and return them to the oven for five to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, carve the breast meat and arrange on hot plates. When the leg meat is ready, carve and arrange with the breast meat.
4. To make the parsley salad, rinse and dry the parsley and mint and finely chop. In a bowl mix the remaining ingredients together, taste for seasoning and add salt if required.
5. Serve chicken with a wedge of lemon, a few cloves of garlic and two tablespoons of the parsley salad. This is terrific with roast potatoes drowned in lemon juice.
Tip: Any leftover watercress sauce can be used to dress a salad or blanched vegetables the following day.
For a Sunday spring lunch, serve with my asparagus with egg sauce and tarragon and poached rhubarb, yoghurt and rose granita with raspberries
Find more of Andrew McConnell's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.