Nothing more heart-warming than the smell of home-made roast chicken. Here is a simple recipe that gives excellent results...moist and tender chicken that's very flavourful.
Rinse out the chicken well with cold water, then dry it completely using kitchen towels/tissues.
Make a paste of all the ingredients except the butter/oil. Rub this marinade all over the chicken, inside and out and under the skin wherever you can reach. Then put the chicken in a zip lock or a plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.
Once ready to bake, pre-heat the oven at 218 C. Rub the butter all over the chicken, or if you are using olive oil just drizzle it all over. Chop half an onion roughly, 1-2 green chilies and 1-2 cloves of garlic. Stuff these in the chicken and also try to stuff the herbs of your choice and the lemon peels into the chicken to give it an excellent aroma (put whatever can fit in there). Tie the legs together using a piece of twine or string.
Roughly chop any veggies of your choice that you plan on serving with the chicken, like carrots, potatoes, celery, onions, etc. Place these veggies in your baking pan and pour 1 cup of water or chicken stock on them. Then place your chicken, breast side down onto the veggies or if you have a baking grill place it over the veggies and place your chicken on top of it. Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove and turn the chicken over and bake for another 35-40 minutes to finish cooking the chicken. If the breast side is browning too quickly, you can lightly cover it with a piece of foil. Make sure you check the temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer (165-170 C is a good temperature to remove the chicken at, it will increase slightly as the chicken rests after baking). Or you can test by pricking the thickest part of the meat around the thigh and if the juices run clear then your chicken is done.
Remove from the oven and let the chicken sit (cover it loosely with a foil) for about 10 minutes before cutting. Enjoy your delicious chicken!
Do not keep opening and closing the oven, as you will keep losing the oven heat by doing this and your chicken will not cook as it should.