We went straight to the source on this recipe - Bruce Burton the farmer from Milking Yard Farm known for their award-winning heritage breed chickens. Bruce's chickens have won the country's top awards for his chickens, often found in Victoria's best restaurants. His birds are far superior to your stock standard chook - they're slow growing and given time to mature and life almost twice as long as conventional chicken. They're big, meaty and full of flavour. Milking Yard Farm is based just outside Trentham about an hour and half out of Melbourne.
We think of Milking Yard Farm chickens like the wagyu of the chicken category - seriously, they're as high quality as the very, very best beef in the world.
Bruce knows a lot about farming chicken and a lot about eating it. Here are his top tips and what he's learnt for the country's best chefs.
Serves: 6-10 people
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: Approximately 2 hours
1 Milking Yard Farm Chicken
Bunch of thyme
Sea salt flakes
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.