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A Kind of Italian Roast Chicken

Serves 6-8

© by Matt Russell

The perfect thing for a relaxed gathering. Plenty of wine, fresh bread and a green or bitter salad are the only other things necessary.


  • Chicken 1, roughly 1.6 kg (3 lb 8 oz)
  • Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

For the rosemary, anchovy, garlic and lemon butter

  • Anchovies 1 small tin (or 12–14 fillets)
  • Lemon 1 small, zest and juice
  • Garlic 2 cloves
  • Butter 200 g (7 oz)
  • Chopped Rosemary 2 Tbs

Cook It

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350ºF/Gas 4).
  2. Season the chicken lightly all over, inside and out.
  3. Put all the butter ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth. Taste for seasoning.
  4. Stuff some of the butter inside the cavity, under the skin and all over the breast. Smear the rest all over the chicken with your hands.
  5. Place the bird breast-side down in a roasting tin and cook for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, baste the bird all over with the juices, and then turn it breast-side up. Turn up the oven to 200ºC (400ºF/Gas 6) and roast for another 20 minutes. Insert a skewer into the fattest part of the thigh and press; if the juices run clear, the bird is done. If not, then put back in the oven for a little longer. Once cooked, leave to rest for a few minutes before carving and serving with all of its delicious juices.

Recipe excerpted from Bitter Honey: Recipes and Stories from Sardinia by Letitia Clark © 2020 Reproduced by permission of Hardie Grant. All rights reserved.

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