You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead to brine the chicken, although at a pinch you could brine it for as little as six hours. This dish will serve six to eight people as part of a larger menu, but if served alone it will feed four to six people.
- 160 gm (1 cup) sea salt flakes
- 55 gm (¼ cup) brown sugar
- 55 ml red wine vinegar
- 1 bunch each rosemary and thyme, plus extra thyme leaves, to serve
- 2 oranges
- 2 lemons, plus extra wedges to serve
- 1½ garlic heads, halved horizontally
- 1 chicken (1.8kg)
- 20 gm softened butter, plus 80gm chilled butter, coarsely chopped
- 150 ml dry white wine
- 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
- 2 tbsp each coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley and tarragon
- 1Stir salt, sugar, vinegar, half the rosemary and thyme and 1 litre water in a saucepan over medium heat to dissolve sugar. Halve oranges and 1 lemon and squeeze juice into pan, then add the squeezed fruit with two-thirds of the garlic and bring to the simmer. Transfer to a container large enough to fit chicken, add 2.5 litres cold water and refrigerate until chilled.
- 2Add chicken to brine, weight with a plate to submerge completely, then cover and refrigerate for 8-12 hours.
- 3Preheat oven to 220C. Drain chicken from brine, rinse under cold running water and pat dry with absorbent paper. Pierce remaining lemon all over with a skewer and place in cavity with remaining rosemary, thyme and garlic. Tuck in wings and loosely truss legs, place in a roasting pan lined with baking paper, rub all over with softened butter, season to taste and roast until juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a skewer (45 minutes-1 hour; cover loosely with foil if chicken is darkening too much). Set aside to rest for 15 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
- 4Bring pan juices to the simmer over medium-high heat, scraping loose caramelised bits from base of pan, add wine and simmer until reduced by half (4-5 minutes), then add stock and simmer until reduced by two-thirds (10-12 minutes). Gradually add chilled butter, a cube at a time, whisking to incorporate before adding more, season to taste and stir in chopped herbs. Spoon over roast chicken and serve hot with lemon wedges.
Drink Suggestion: Ripe, round pinot gris. Drink suggestion by Max Allen