Roast chicken with preserved lemon and butter

For the last as many years as I can remember, I have spent my Birthday dinner out with family at a restaurant of my choosing. This year, as my Birthday conveniently fell on a Saturday I thought we’d take the opportunity to head off for our first trip to Sunshine Beach with Mr Ollie.

Mum asked me what I’d like to do to celebrate and after much thought I settled on a lunch date with my lovely husband and a home-cooked meal for dinner. I couldn’t resist when mum offered to cook whatever I wanted.

I thought long and hard – you don’t want to just blurt out the first thing you think of, what if you change your mind? After much deliberation I settled on roast chicken with potato bake, which you may recall, is the same meal I requested for dinner the night before our wedding.


We used to buy these amazingly tasty marinated whole chickens from Aldi but they’ve since changed the recipe so this one was a from-scratch and apparently mum’s first (although I find that hard to believe). The recipe for roast chicken with preserved lemon and butter came from mum’s friend who got it from Maggie Beer. The photo above is the butter that was stuffed under the skin. I was practically drooling seeing mum mix it up. Calories don’t count on your Birthday remember.

Ready for the oven

By this stage I was already salivating. They looked so plump and luscious, dinner time could not come soon enough. As they roasted away, we had some nibbles and played board games while a little part of me was always inhaling the amazing aroma wafting from the kitchen.

Unfortunately, I was a little distracted by Ollie and didn’t make it in time to catch a shot of these ladies straight from the oven but even chopped up they look pretty good don’t you think? The meat was meltingly-tender and so flavoursome. Even the cold leftovers the next day were not a bit dry – perfect for sandwiches for our car ride home. Good job mum!

What about you? What’s your special meal request if someone offers to cook for you?

Roast chicken with preserved lemon and butter

Roast chicken with preserved lemon and butter

Roast chicken with preserved lemon and butter

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp tarragon
  • 2 quarters Preserved Lemons flesh removed, washed and finely chopped
  • 2.0kg free-range chicken
  • Sea salt flakes and pepper
  • 2 tbspn Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Verjuice


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F) fan-forced and prepare a roasting tray.
  2. Soften the butter, then in a small bowl, smooth it together with the tarragon and preserved lemon.
  3. Place the chicken on the prepared pan and carefully separate the skin from the flesh around the legs and breasts then stuff underneath with the butter mixture.
  4. Tuck the wings under the chicken then season with salt and pepper and rub it into the skin with the oil.
  5. Cook for 1 hour.
  6. Open the oven and pour the verjuice over the chicken then cook for another 10 minutes.
  7. Take the chicken out of the oven and let it rest in a warm place for 20 minutes before carving.
  8. NOTE: To see if the chicken is cooked - poke a skewer through the thickest part of the thigh. If the juices are clear then it's cooked, pink and it needs longer. If you have a thermometer then it should read 68 degrees if you stick it in the same place.


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