This super simple, super delicious roast chook is my kind of comfort food. I made it recently with a free-range chicken from Eugowra Game Birds, poultry supplier to top restaurants also doing home delivery, well worth checking out! I love the combination of chicken, rice and yoghurt, but you could roast some potatoes with it if you prefer. I also love preserved lemons, but it always seems a bit wasteful to throw away the flesh and only use the skin. Then a friend told me she saves the flesh and puts it inside the cavity of a chicken she’s roasting. Roast chicken with preserved lemon rind and flesh: genius! Ideally use the flesh of two large preserved lemons even though you only need the skin from one; either save the flesh from other recipes, or pop the skin from the second lemon back in the jar (just ensure it’s completely submerged in the brine). I really enjoy a glass of Callejuela Blanco De Hornillos with this.
- 1 x 1.5kg chicken
- 2 large preserved lemons (see notes)
- Extra virgin olive oil, for rubbing
- 2 red onions, halved and cut into eighths
- 1 bunch thyme
- Salt flakes, to taste
- Steamed rice, for serving
- Green salad, for serving
- Natural yoghurt, for serving
Preserved lemons are super easy to make and a wonderful homemade gift – learn how to make them here.
- Preheat oven to 220°C.
- Wipe cavity of the chicken out with paper towel and pat skin dry.
- Separate the skin of the preserved lemon from the flesh, keeping both.
- Put the flesh inside the cavity of the chicken.
- Pour oil generously into a baking dish, rub it all over the chicken and put the chicken in the dish.
- Finely slice the skin of 1 preserved lemon into thin strips, reserving the rest for another dish.
- Scatter the lemon and onion around the chicken, tossing it in the oil.
- Sprinkle the thyme leaves over the chicken, tucking a sprig or 2 underneath and inside the cavity.
- Sprinkle chicken generously with salt.
- Place in oven for 1 hour then remove and set aside in a warm place for 5 minutes.
- Cut up the chicken, discarding the lemon flesh.
- Serve with rice, salad and yoghurt, with the cooking juices spooned over the rice.