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Roast Organic Chicken with Rosemary, Preserved Lemon and Pancetta

If there's one food memory that can make you warm with nostalgia, then it's the one of a Sunday night roast. It's simple yet bursting with familiar flavours. And come winter, an organic chicken roast with rosemary, preserved lemon and pancetta rings all the right chords for the tastebuds.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Australian
Servings 6 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Kg Chicken Organic Maryland pieces, or a 2 kg whole organic chicken jointed into 10 pieces
  • 2 Bunches Rosemary Leaves removed and very finely chopped (about 2/3 cup)
  • 8 Pieces Preserved Lemon (one piece is approximately one quarter of a lemon)
  • 150 ML ghee, beef tallow or duck fat Melted
  • Sea Salt Unrefined
  • Black Pepper Freshly ground
  • 12 Slices Pancetta Thinly sliced
  • Olive Oil For serving
  • Rosemary For decoration

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 240C.
  • Separate rind and pith of preserved lemon pieces, discard pith, wash rind thoroughly and cut into thin slices.
  • Toss chicken pieces, rosemary, preserved lemon, ghee, lots of pepper and a small amount of salt, all in a baking dish large enough to fit the chicken in a single layer. If you have enough time marinate for about an hour.
  • Place the chicken into the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 125C (fan-forced).
  • Roast the chicken, skin side down for 1 hour, then turn pieces over, baste well with the pan juices and put back in the oven for another hour. Rest it, covered in a warm place, for 15 minutes.
  • Turn the oven griller on to medium-high. Lay pancetta slices over chicken in one layer, then return the baking dish to the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until pancetta is crisp and the chicken skin is nicely browned.
  • Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving platter, making sure to pour over any juices from the roasting pan.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and decorate with sprigs of rosemary.
  • Serve with a fresh salad or with sautéed spinach, kale or silverbeet.

Notes

Tip: Try adding wedges of fennel and/or olives to the baking dish with the chicken.
*Thanks to the lovely Maggie Beer for inspiration for this recipe.