Roast Chicken with Sage and Lemon

Cook Time 1 hour

Servings 4


10 sage leaves, torn
1 lemon, zest finely grated, then halved
1 tbsp salt
1.4 kg chicken
1 apple, quartered and cored
4 cloves garlic, squashed
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
2 onions, thickly sliced
2 carrots, thickly sliced
2 stalks celery, trimmed and thickly sliced
1 cup white wine


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Put 2 peeled garlic cloves and a half of the salt into a mortar and pound with a pestle until it forms a paste. Add the sage, lemon zest and remaining salt and continue to pound until you have a vibrant green salt. If it becomes too paste-like, add a little more salt until it is grainy again.

Place the apple quarters and lemon halves in a bowl with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.

Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the apple, lemon, and remaining garlic cloves and then use kitchen string to tie the drumsticks together. (This helps the bird hold its shape during cooking and also prevents the ingredients in the cavity falling out.) Slash the drumsticks a few times – this will help the flavoured salt penetrate the meat.

Drizzle a roasting pan with a little olive oil and scatter the onion, carrot and celery over the base. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, then rub the flavoured salt over the entire surface of the chicken, including into the slashes in the legs. Roast the chicken and vegetables for 10 minutes, then pour in the wine and cook for about 40 minutes-1 hour more, basting from time to time to keep the meat moist. The chicken is ready if the juices run clear when you tip it on an angle. If the juices are still pink, it is not cooked through and needs a little more time in the oven.

Remove from the oven and serve the chicken and roasted vegetables immediately, with any cooking juices spooned over.


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