1.5kg whole chicken
3 lemons, 1 halved, 2 quartered
Sprigs of rosemary, thyme + tarragon, tied with kitchen string
1 large onion, peeled, quartered
2 cups (500ml) chicken stock
2 tsp cornflour
LEMON + HERB BUTTER
100g unsalted butter, softened
10 tarragon leaves
2 small sprigs rosemary, leaves picked
3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
1 cup picked flat-leaf parsley leaves
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tbs lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
To make the herb butter, whiz all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until finely chopped and combined. Season well.
Pat chicken dry inside and out with paper towel. Gently work your hands between the skin and the flesh of the breasts to loosen the skin, being careful not to make any holes, then spread half the butter over the flesh. Spread the remaining butter all over the chicken skin. Place lemon halves and tied herb sprigs in the cavity. Scatter onion in a roasting pan and place chicken on top.
Place the quartered lemons around the chicken, then roast, basting frequently, for 1 1/4 hours or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, loosely cover with foil and set aside to rest.
Discard the onion and lemon in the roasting pan, then skim off any oil from the pan juices. Place pan on the stove top, add the stock, then stir with a wooden spoon over medium-high heat, scraping the base of the pan to deglaze. Combine the cornflour with 1 tbs water to form a smooth paste, then add to the pan and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes until thickened. Strain the sauce into a jug and serve with the roast chicken and a herbed couscous salad.