Jim’s perfect roast chicken

Jim’s perfect roast chicken

Nuovo Mondo
Alan Benson

Jim: My perfect roast chicken is a three-technique recipe in which we brine the chicken, poach it using a steeping technique after which it is chilled, and then roasted from cold so the chicken is crisp on the outside but beautifully moist on the inside. It requires quite a bit of preparation but the steps are very simple. If you don’t have the luxury of an extra day to brine the chicken, leave it out. It is not entirely essential but is a great way of adding flavour to the meat. The chicken can be eaten after step two as a poached bird.


Quantity Ingredient
1.6kg whole free-range chicken, legs trussed
1 lemongrass, bruised
1 thyme
2 rosemary
1 sage
2 lemons, cut in half
1 garlic, cut in half
60ml olive oil
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place the chicken in a large deep bowl with the brine for 3–4 hours.
  2. Heat a large saucepan of lightly salted water over high heat with the lemongrass, thyme, rosemary and half the sage. Bring to the boil. You will need four times the amount of liquid to chicken, so the saucepan must be large enough to hold about 5 litres water and the chicken without overflowing.
  3. Stuff the lemon halves and the garlic into the chicken cavity. Add to the boiling water and return to the boil. Remove from the heat and weigh the chicken down with a plate so it is fully submerged. Cover the saucepan with a lid and leave for 45 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken from the saucepan and discard the cooking liquid and flavourings. Transfer to an ice bath to chill. Once cool, refrigerate, uncovered, for a few hours or overnight to dry out the skin.
  5. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  6. Place the chicken in a roasting tin and stuff the remaining sage into the cavity. Rub a little olive oil all over the chicken and season with pepper. (The brine should have sufficiently seasoned the chicken, so there is no need for additional salt.) Roast the chicken in the oven for 15–20 minutes until well coloured. Remove and let the chicken rest for about 10–15 minutes before carving and serving.
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