Traditional Roast Chicken for Christmas

It is a delicious food item for the Christmas table and can be eaten warm for a Winter Christmas or cold for the summer Christmas in South-Africa.


1 Free range chicken, weighing 2.25 kg
55 g butter
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon thyme, chopped
1 lemon, cut into ¼ pieces
½ cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 220° Celsius. Make sure the chicken is clean, wipe it inside and outside with kitchen paper.Place the chicken in a roasting pan.
  2. In a separate bowl, soften the butter with a fork, mix in the chopped thyme and season well with salt and pepper.Butter the chicken all over with the herb butter, inside and out, and place the lemon pieces inside the body of the chicken. Pour the wine over the chicken.
  3. Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 190° Celsius. Roast the chicken for a further 1¼ hours, basting it frequently.
  4. Cover the chicken with foil if the skin becomes too much. If the roasting juices are starting to dry up, add more water or wine.
  5. Test if the chicken is cooked by piercing the thickest part of the leg with a sharp knife.The juices must run clear. Remove from the oven and transfer the chicken to a warm serving plate. Cover it loosely with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes before carving.It will give the chicken time to set more and be a bit easier to carve once more firm.
  6. Place the rest of the roasting chicken liquid in a sauce pan and heat.Season with salt and pepper and pour over the chicken.Garnish with the golden lemon sprigs .

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