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How to season, truss & carve a whole chicken

How to season, truss & carve a whole chicken

Delia Smith once said that if you're having a bad day, roast a whole chicken and your mood will lift. While it's not scientifically proven, we're pretty sure that she's bang on point when it comes to happiness and an easy technique for roasting a chook. We like to let the bird’s quality shine with simple flavours. We stuff our chickens with the best tasting aromatic vegetables of the season. 


A whole, untrussed chicken

Sliced fennel

Half a lemon

Extra virgin olive oil

Coarse sea salt

How to season and truss a whole chicken

Remove the chicken from the fridge an hour before cooking it.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towel before gently opening the cavity.

Season the inside of the cavity with sea salt and freshly ground pepper before placing slices of fennel and lemon inside the chicken.

Cut 1.5m of butchers twine. Place the centre of the twine at the front of the chicken's crown then pull either side of the twine towards you, wrapping it around the entire crown and tying a basic knot just above the opening of the cavity.

Pull the twine around the ends of the legs, pulling them together then tying firmly in a knot.

Preparing the chicken to roast

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Rub the entire bird with a generous quantity of best quality extra-virgin olive oil.

Sprinkle the entire bird with a generous amount of sea salt, making sure all of the skin is covered with a thin layer.

Place the chicken in a roasting dish.

How to carve a whole chicken

Using a sharp knife, carefully break the butchers twine.

Remove the marylands by running a knife between the crown and the legs.

Cut though the joint between the thighs and drumsticks to split the marylands.

Remove the breasts from the crown one at a time.

Remove the wings from the breasts, and carve each breast in half

Arrange all sliced chicken pieces on a serving platter then drizzle with the resting juices.


Side note - we like to reserve the bones and carcass of the bird to make a sumptuous stock. Slice an onion in half and place it in a large saucepan with the carcass. Cover with water and simmer for 3-4 hours or until the stock is golden and thickened. Store sealed in the fridge for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to a month.

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