Vygie’s ultimate roast chicken

Vygie's ultimate roast chicken

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  • 4
  • Easy
  • wheat and gluten free
  • 15 minutes, plus overnight brining
  • 2 hours
  • Paul Cluver Pinot Noir
  • Buy Ingredients Here

“Most of our relationship has been spent working out how to perfectly cook a roast chicken – this is the result of lots of research and many Sunday lunches. It really was the starting point of our food journey together.” – Rose and Adam Williams


  • 1 free-range chicken
  • 3 litres water
  • 6 T salt
  • 3 T plum jam
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3 T dried thyme
  • ½ onion
  • ½ lemon
  • 100 g butter
  • 1 head garlic
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cooking Instructions

1. To brine the chicken, remove it from its packaging, wash with running water and place into a bowl or tub. Add the water and salt. Cover and chill overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Combine the jam, oil and thyme and smear all over the chicken, making sure to get it under the wings.

3. Quarter the onion and lemon lengthways and insert into the cavity of the bird. Stuff as much butter as you can into the cavity, and the garlic if possible. Season generously.

4. Place the chicken into a deep baking dish, breast side down, and cook for 2 hours – you do not need to baste or turn it.

5. Remove from the oven after 2 hours. It will look quite dark, but don’t worry! Allow to rest in the baking dish for 15 minutes before serving.

Find more Christmas recipes here.

Photographs: Jan Ras
Production: Abigail Donnelly

Rose and Adam Williams Recipe by: Rose and Adam Williams
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Wife-and-husband team Rose and Adam Williams have transformed a beautiful old stable on Oaklands Farm an hour outside of Cape Town, into Vygie Kitchen and Dining Room, a destination restaurant that’s worth the drive.

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