Lemon and herb butterfly roast chicken

Sunday roast

I love a good Sunday roast chicken. Growing up most Sundays consisted of mums roast chicken, potatoes and broccoli cheese. As a child I remember mum would put her chicken on at 4pm and slowly roast it while I'd be up at the table grating cheese for the cheese sauce and peeling potatoes. Her chicken was as simple as it gets. No flavours or spices - just salt. Without fail the skin was crispy, meat was juicy and always a flawless beautiful golden colour. Have I been given her recipe? No. But thanks to my mother dearest, I have carried this tradition on and now cook my own version of Sunday roast chicken every chance I get. - just a slightly altered version. 

A roast with all the trimmings is always a winner and is a highly requested meal when I visit my parents but as a single girl cooking for one, by the time you have made a cheese sauce for the broccoli, cut up potato, kumara and pumpkin - which never ends up being just one piece of each by the way! , make a gravy from scratch, you end up having a feast for five let alone one. 

This recipe also feeds a crowd and would be perfect for a Sunday late lunch. I make this dish if I want an easy dinner and the leftovers are a treat during the week.  

$ cost wise: - Cheap. A whole chicken ranges between $8.00 - $14.00 depending on the size you need to feed. If you wanted to spend that little bit extra for a free range chicken, do it. I do like Free range whole chickens as I feel they hold their juices and are more plump than usual. 

I love Tom thumb buns you can pick up from Pak n save. - A pack of 20 for $4.99... winning! And also any salad options you like.

Lemon and herb butterfly roast chicken

Butterflied chicken is best when your feeding people. Every inch of the chicken is there to be devoured. - It also is easier when serving. 


  • 1 whole chicken
  • olive or vegetable oil
  • handful of Italian parsley, coriander 
  • lemon zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • bread rolls
  • baby spinach or kale

A serving board with butter, sauces and dressings of your choice.


Turn oven on fan bake at 180C.

To butterfly the chicken, grab the whole chicken, a sharp knife and clean board.

Turn the chicken so the breast, wings and drums are facing the board and the spine is facing upwards. 

Using the knife cut down the spine until you have broken through and the back opens out.            see pictures above.

Place the chicken in a bowl, drizzle with oil, add chopped herbs, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pep. Massage the flavours into the chicken and leave aside to marinate.

Place chicken onto a roasting tray and place in oven. Cook on 180 C for 30 - 45 mins and increase heat to 200 C for 10 mins to golden the skin. Keep an eye on the chicken so it doesn't burn.

To check that the chicken is cooked, put your knife into the thigh and breast. If the juices run clear then it's cooked. 

Serve on a board with fresh bread rolls, butter, baby spinach and sauces of your choice.