Size 18 Chicken (or do what I do sometimes and get 2 little chickens with a combined weight of 1.8-1.9kg)
Lemon Pepper seasoning - I like the Masterfoods one.
Roast chicken seasoning (which is a combination of paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chicken stock powder, a teeny bit of chilli powder, salt, sugar and pepper). Again, I use the Masterfoods one.
Olive oil spray (or if you can find it, one flavoured with garlic)
1 tablespoon soft Butter
1 whole Small onion, peeled,
STUFFING (combine the following in a big bowl):
Fresh bread crumbs from 4-5 slices of day-old bread with the crusts removed
1/2 red capsicum, diced finely
Large onion, diced finely
about 2 teaspoons Mixed dried hard herbs (Thyme, rosemary, marjoram, sage anything you like really, as long as they are good quality and have a nice robust flavour. Steer clear of parsley, basil and coriander leaf)
1/2 teaspoon of lemon pepper seasoning
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon very soft butter (or margarine, if you must)
1. Clean you chicken. Remove any of the crusty skin that you sometimes get around the chicken's "ankles", be sure and remove any stray feathers, and rinse out the cavity with running water and pat the skin dry with paper towel.
2. Place a cake rack in a large baking tray. (If you have a specifically designed roasting rack and tray, use that). Put water in the tray to JUST below the level of the rack
3. Take the chicken and use your finger to make a little pocket at the neck of the chicken into the breast between the skin and the flesh. Shove the butter into the little pocket and "smoosh" it around so the butter spreads all over the breasts
4. Turn the chook so its legs are pointing to the sky and the cavity is open and you're ready to defile that there bird. Pack the stuffing in the cavity nice and firm. (if there is any stuffing left over, form it into a ball and wrap it in foil, like you would do to a jacket potato. It can be roasted on the rack beside the chook)
5. Take the small onion and shove it up there too as kind of a "bottle cap". Keep the onion in place by skewering through the bum flaps of the chook, then through the onion, then through the flap on the other side.
6. Place the chook breast side up on the rack, spray with oil and sprinkle with lemon pepper and chicken seasoning
7. Roast for an hour at 180 degrees Celsius, flip over to breast side down, spray and sprinkle, top up the water in the tray if needed and roast for a further 30 mins. Test the bird is done by inserting a knife between the leg and thigh and ensure the juices are running clear. If not, cook further in 10minute intervals until juices are clear. The general rule is 30mins per 500g of roast. This rule also applies to roast lamb and beef too (for well done – medium or rare meat needs about 20-25mins per 500g... but that obviously doesn’t apply to chicken). Don't forget, you need to add a little bit of cooking time to compensate for the additional weight of the stuffing, and the fact you are not getting convection heat inside the cavity of the chicken - the heat is transfered by conduction through the flesh.
8. Remove chook, wrap in 2 layers of foil and let rest for 10 minutes (use this time to finish up the veges or whatever other accompaniments, make some gravy using some of the pan juices etc).
9. Carve and serve.