Project Description

This simply flavoured recipe uses local, seasonal produce and matches surprisingly well with a white sparkling wine like that from Jacob’s Creek, where I cooked this recipe

Servings: 4-6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes

1 1.8kg free range chicken
30g butter, softened
1 ½ tablespoons chopped herbs e.g. parsley, chives, sage, thyme
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon (20ml) olive oil
2 heads garlic, top quarter sliced off
1/3 cup (80ml) verjuice
1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
300g seedless green grapes

Parsnip Puree
3 medium (750g) parsnips, peeled and chopped
100-200ml milk (depending on size of saucepan)
40g butter

Garden Salad
100g  mixed salad leaves including baby spinach, pea shoots & mustard greens  from the garden
1/3 cup (35g)  walnut pieces, toasted

Walnut and Verjuice dressing
½ tablespoon(10ml) walnut oil
½ tablespoon (10ml) verjuice

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).
  2. Butterfly chicken by cutting down one side of the backbone with kitchen scissors or a sharp knife. Cut down the other side and remove. Turn over chicken skin side up and punch down using your hands to flatten out. Gently push your fingers under the skin at the cavity end and continue to ease the skin away from the flesh using your fingers to the end of the breast and down to the thighs. 
  3. Combine butter, herbs, mustard and garlic.  Carefully push this mixture under the skin.   Then press on top of the skin to smooth the paste all over the breasts and down to the thighs.  Season well over with salt and pepper.  Place the discarded backbone in the middle of the baking tray and place chicken, skin side up on top, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 50 minutes or until the juice run clear when the thigh is pierced. 
  4. While the chicken is roasting make Parsnip puree.  Place parsnips in a large saucepan with just enough milk to almost cover. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until tender. Remove from heat, add butter, season with salt and pepper.  Puree with a stick blender until smooth. Keep warm.
  5. Remove chicken and garlic to a serving dish and cover with foil to keep warm and rest. Discard backbone.
  6. Remove excess fat from pan juices and place on the stove over high heatand when bubbling add verjuice, chicken stock  and grapes. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes or until well reduced. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add any juices from the rested chicken.
  7. Make Garden salad by whisking together walnut oil, verjuice, salt and pepper together in bowl. Add salad leaves and toss through.
  8. Carve chicken, and serve with Parsnip puree, Garden salad and sauce.

This recipe comes from the TV series (and now cookbook), Lyndey Milan’s Taste of Australia. Buy your copy of the accompanying cookbook to the TV series online by clicking here!