How to make the perfect roast chicken

Lemon and Za’atar Roast Chicken

Roast chicken is, upon first inspection, dinner 101. But a great roast chicken, one worthy of Parisian bistros and the like, is much much harder to achieve. The issue is not one of flavour, hands down you get what you pay for, but more one of balance. Roast chicken is the gastronomic equivalent of yin and yang. Juicy meat balanced by an oh so crispy skin. This simple lemon and za’atar roast chicken is on regular rotation at my house. The spices add to the brown, crisp appearance of the skin while the lemony flavour makes the meat even more toothsome.




1 tbsp grapeseed oil

1 ½ tbsp. za’atar spice (or more to taste)

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1 organic, happy, free-range chicken

150g butter, cubed

3 lemons, halved

1 head garlic, halved


Preheat the oven to 220C

Combine the oil with the za’atar and lemon zest in a bowl.

Pat dry the chicken inside and out. Gently loosen the skin and push the cubes of butter between the chicken breasts and skin. Rub the za’atar mix into the skin then place in a roasting pan atop the lemon halves and garlic. Roast for 40 minutes or until crisp skinned and cooked through. Serve with Paris mash and steamed green beans.

1 comment so far

  • Really simple - Coles (or Woolies) stuffed seasoned chicken on a webber. Put it on spine side down on a cake rack over a shallow baking dish for near on 2 hrs at 190C - perfecto! You can put your vegies (spuds, pumpkin, carrots) in there as well for 1 hour.

    Date and time
    July 04, 2012, 10:33AM

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