- 1 4-pound (2 kilograms) roasting chicken
- 6 whole cloves of garlic
- 2 Lemons
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Sprigs of fresh Rosemary and Thyme.
- Olive oil
In a mortar and pestle place the garlic cloves, half of the rosemary and thyme stripped from the stalk* and 2 Tbsp of olive oil and the zest of one lemon (yellow only). Pound together until it forms a rough mixture – lumps are fine.
A good tip is to dip the stalks of rosemary and thyme into boiling water before stripping from the stalk – this really brings out the aroma.
Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C) or Barbecue to medium heat.
Place the remaining lemon into boiling water and boil for 5 minutes.
Wash and dry the chicken (inside and out).
With sharp knife slice into the thighs and legs to allow heat to penetrate these hard to cook areas.
Rub the contents from your mortar and pestle all over the outside of the chicken and especially into the areas you just sliced into.
Using tongs remove the lemon and CAREFULLY prick it a few times (Be very careful because the hot juice may squirt and it is very painful if it hits your eyes). Place the lemon into the chicken cavity together with the remaining Rosemary and Thyme.
Place on a rack in baking tray and cook for about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Check by inserting a probe and juices should run clear.
When you remove the chicken try to remove the lemon and herbs from the cavity because the lemon will break up if left there. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then slice and serve as you would a normal roast chicken.
Note: if you are using a smaller chicken cook for 25 minutes per pound plus a further 25 minutes.
A glass of chilled dry Reisling enhances this dish.