Roast Chicken

SERVES 6-10  |  PREP TIME  20 mins   |   COOK TIME Approx 2 hrs

This recipe is the result of months of testing with Robert Wooller to find a simple, tasty way of preparing our whole birds.


1 Milking Yard Farm Chicken

1 Lemon

Melted butter

Bunch of thyme

Sea salt flakes

Ground pepper


1. Heat the oven to 160°C and place the chicken on a wire rack in a roasting dish.

2. Cut a lemon into quarters lengthways and place them into the cavity of the chicken along with thyme sprigs or herbs of your choice.

3. Brush melted butter over the chicken and season with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper.

4. Pour a cup of water into the roasting tray and cover with aluminium foil and place into the pre heated oven.  Cook for 1.5 to 2 hours until it reaches an internal temperature of at 70°C degrees by using a meat thermometer or ensuring juices run clear when skewered into the thickest part of the thigh.

5. If using a steam oven,  heat oven to 80°C on steam or a combination of hot air + steaming and cook to an internal temperature of 70°C.

6. Remove from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 220°C while you brush the bird with melted butter, and return chicken to the oven.

7. When golden brown, remove from the oven and allow to rest before carving and plating.

Photography Alicia Taylor. Styling Kirsten Jenkins.
Prop styling Montana Valich


SERVES 4  |  PREP TIME  30 mins   |   COOK TIME Approx 2 hrs

Because of the structure of the meat, these birds cook differently to other chickens, but are well worth the extra time they take to cook.

I have found that once the chicken has rested the breast will be cooked but the legs may need a little longer. Begin this recipe 1 day ahead.


2.5kg Milking Yard Farm Sommerlad Chicken

50g unsalted butter, softened

2 tsp salt flakes

Broad bean salad

1kg broad beans, podded

1/2 baguette, thinly sliced on an angle

1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil

3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced

1 cup snowpea tendrils

1/2 cup basil leaves

Juice of 1 lemon


1. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towel. Place on a paper towel-lined plate and chill uncovered overnight to dry out.

2. The next day, remove chicken from the fridge and set aside for 1-11/2 hours to bring to room temperature. Preheat oven to 220°C. Line a roasting pan with baking paper. Rub butter and salt all over chicken, then place chicken, breast-side up, in pan. Roast in the centre of oven for 1-11/2 hours until just cooked through. Remove from oven. Turn chicken over and rest, loosely covered with foil, for 20-30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, for the salad, blanch beans in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 11/2 minutes or until tender. Drain and refresh in iced water. Peel, discarding skins. Place bread on a baking tray lined with baking paper and rub with 2 tbs oil. Bake for 5 minutes or until golden. Combine beans, tomato, snowpea tendrils, basil, lemon juice and remaining 2 tbs oil in a bowl. Add bread just before serving.

4. When ready to serve, remove chicken legs and place on a baking tray. Roast for 5-10 minutes to finish cooking, if required.

5.Carve the breast and place on a warm platter. When leg meat is ready arrange on the platter. Serve with salad.

Photography Petrina Tinslay. Styling David Morgan

by Valli Little

SERVES 8  |  PREP TIME  20 mins   |   COOK TIME Approx 3 hrs

This special breed of chicken ranges in size from 2kg to 4.5kg.
Adjust the cooking time according to the size of your bird.


2 tbs chopped thyme leaves, plus 3 extra sprigs

100g unsalted butter, softened, chopped

4kg Milking Yard Farm chicken

2/3 cup (100g) frozen cranberries, thawed

2 pears, quartered

2 red apples, cut into thick wedges

4 plums, halved

2 red onions, cut into thick wedges

1/3 cup (80ml) maple syrup

2 cups (500ml) chicken stock

Fried sage leaves (optional), to serve


1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Combine thyme leaves and butter in a bowl. Carefully run your hand under chicken breast and thigh to loosen skin, being careful not to tear skin. Rub butter onto breast and thigh under skin, spreading to coat evenly. Season, then tie legs together with kitchen string. Place in a large flameproof roasting pan and cover pan with a sheet of baking paper, then a sheet of foil. Roast for 2 hours.

2. Meanwhile, place fruit, onion and maple syrup in a bowl. Season and toss to combine. Remove chicken from oven and discard foil and baking paper. Arrange fruit and onion around chicken, then scatter with extra thyme sprigs. Bake, turning fruit mixture twice, for a further 45 minutes or until the chicken breast registers 70°C with a kitchen thermometer and juices run clear when the thickest part of the chicken thigh is pierced with a skewer. Transfer chicken and fruit to a platter. Rest, loosely covered with foil, for 15 minutes.

3. Skim excess fat from pan and discard. Return pan to medium heat. Add stock and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 12 minutes or until jus is thickened and reduced. Season.

4.Serve the chicken with roasted fruit, onion, jus and fried sage leaves, if using.


SERVES 4  |  PREP TIME  30 mins   |   COOK TIME Approx 2 hrs

This recipe was inspired by Bruce Poole and is a faster way of preparing a whole bird or individual pieces.


1 Milking Yard Farm Chicken

Duck or chicken fat

Garlic & herbs to taste


1. Remove the legs and thigh from the bird but leave the breasts and wings on the crown.

2. Lightly oil the crown and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

3. Add a tablespoon of duck or chicken fat to a very hot pan, and pan fry both sides of the breast for just a few minutes until golden brown.  Do the same with the legs, skin side down. But don’t overcook.

4. Place the crown, breast up in a baking tray with the legs skin side up. Apply herbs such as tarragon or thyme generously in the cavity and under the pieces. Cut a head of garlic in two and add the halves to the tray.

5. Place the tray in a hot oven 225°C for 30 to­ 35 mins, basting twice, ­taking care not to burn the garlic.  Use a probe to ensure the thickest part of the breast temp does not exceed 70°C.

6. Remove from oven, and cover loosely with foil for at least
30 minutes, and use pan juices for gravy.

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