The Sunday Roast Chicken

When young, we often had chicken on a Sunday as our ‘Roast’ – with the quality being similar to that of Natures Chicken (my father was a butcher, so we always had good quality meat, poultry and game).



Ready In:

2hrs 45min



Good For:

Lunch or Dinner


About this Recipe

By: Adam Bowden  Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard

We, at the restaurant of Mount Lofty Ranges Vineyard, have been cooking with the chicken from Natures Chicken since they started producing. Having grown up in a small countryside village in the farming county of Dorset, England. I have always had a familiarity and interest in hope things grow and are cared for – one trip to meet Carey and see how he cares for these birds, fuelled the way we cook them and serve them at the restaurant. Carey allows for the birds to grow slowly in the pastures of the apple orchard and therefore develop a depth of flavour and a firm texture that is quite often missing from the store bought chickens today.


  • 1 Natures Chicken at 2.2kg
  • 1 Sprig of Rosemary
  • 1 Sprig of Lemon Thyme
  • 2, Bayleaf
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Head of Garlic
  • 100g Unsalted Butter – softened
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For me, a larger bird has a better flavour and texture, and of course it gets more time to enjoy life before arriving on our kitchen table. Therefore, for this recipe I am going to suggest a 2.2kg chicken, which is what we use in the restaurant.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1 Prepare for oven

Remove your Chicken from the the Fridge at least 45 minutes before you want to cook, to allow it to relax and come to room temperature.  Place the Rosemary, Lemon Thyme, Bay leaf inside the cavity  and cut the lemon and Garlic in half and pace inside the cavity.   Brush the breasts and legs with the butter and season well with salt and pepper.  Place the chicken on a rack inside a tray in the oven and add water to the tray (about a 1cm depth). Cover the whole tray in aluminium foil and roast for 45 minutes.

Step 2

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 25-30 minutes.

Step 3

Turn the oven to full heat.  Remove the foil (pour off any water, this can be reserved to add to your gravy later).  Brush again with butter and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Place back in the oven until golden (approx 30 minutes).

Step 4

Rest again for 10 minutes prior to serving.


Add the reserved liquid back to the tray before serving to incorporate any of the caramelised juices before adding to your sauce.