The Perfect Roast Chicken – Hein van Tonder

Hein van Tonders Perfect Roast ChickenHein van Tonder’s Perfect Roast Chicken

Hein says: “This recipe for the Perfect Roast Chicken is one I found on the New York Times Cooking site a while back and I have not roasted chicken any other way since.

I believe there are few meals that can beat the simple goodness of a roast chicken and as we head into the festive season I prefer a delicious roast chicken to all the drama involved with turkey or duck or turducken (if you really have to go that way!).

Letting the chicken stand seasoned and uncovered definitely makes a difference. So does roasting it at the very high temperature. The meat is juicy and flavourful, with the skin super crispy. It does take a bit of pre planning of course which is not always possible but I urge you to try it.

I can not remember where I read the tip about rather using the zest of a lemon rather than a whole lemon inside the cavity. It makes sense as you keep all the aromatic oils to infuse the chicken with no chance of any bitterness coming through from the the pith and juice. I feel all cheffy when I tie the legs together and I think it does improve the appearance of the roasted bird.

I have an array of festive recipes to inspire and help you plan for the season ahead – click here for all the recipes

The Perfect Roast Chicken
recipe adapted from New York Times

1 1.5kg whole chicken, patted dry
2 ½ tsp salt
2 tsp crushed black pepper
Small bunch mixed herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and sage
zest of 1 lemon (use a vegetable peeler)

Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper
Refrigerate the chicken uncovered, overnight
Heat oven to 230 degrees C
Place chicken breast-side up in a roasting pan and stuff the cavity with the herbs and lemon zest
Tie the legs together with kitchen string and roast 50 minutes, then baste chicken with the pan juices
Continue roasting until chicken’s juices run clear when skin is pierced with a knife (about 5 to 10 minutes longer
Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Michael’s wine recommendation – CLICK HERE

Boland Cellar Reserve Chenin Blanc 2014Hein by Francois PistoriusHein by Francois Pistorius

For as long as memory serves, I have references and recollections that involve food.

This passion has brought me to create and develop Heinstirred. As a South African food writer and photographer based in Cape Town I’m at my happiest in the kitchen, behind the camera or better still, both.

My work has been featured on,, Huffington Post Taste, Buzzfeed, The Kitchen, and I have also contributed to the Sunday Times Food Weekly and contributed to the first issue of Market Day.

Ever evolving as a food lover, my favourite past time is travelling to eat with itineraries built around flavours, meals and restaurants. My latest eating trip was to Beirut, allowing me to discover a cuisine that easily rivals my love for all things Italian.

A new interest is the photography of events that have a distinct food focus, this in collaboration with well known photographer Francois Pistorius. We aim to tell another side of the story by capturing a behind the scenes and candid look at the preparation, presentation and enjoyment of food.

This blog is as much a personal food and photography journey as it is a current reflection of my portfolio of work. Get in touch with me regarding recipe development, brand content, food photography, styling, lifestyle photography and writing.

I work with a Nikon D750 to best capture the images and flavours. All photographs and recipes are available for purchase.

Visit Hein on his lovely website – CLICK HERE

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December 23rd, 2015|Categories: Recipes|Tags: , , |

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