Recipe: Dan Hunter’s Summer Roast Chicken

Stacks and stacks of cookbooks are released into the world each year, but there are always those select through that break through to ‘must own’ status. Made With Love is truly one of those cookbooks, simply because it brings together some of the most acclaimed and renowned chefs in the world to each share recipes they themselves cook for the people they love the most.

The question “what do you cook for the people you love?” has resulted in a very diverse collection of recipes from over one hundred of the world’s best chefs, cooks, bakers and food artisans, all collated to raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Foundation to develop and support community food and agricultural projects that focus on empowering the impoverished and spreading awareness about food sustainability.

The range of dishes is incredible, but seeing as the holiday season is coming up we’ve chosen to extract (with permission) something a bit more traditional; something which could help you save Christmas: a Summer Roast Chicken. The recipe appears in the book, provided by Dan Hunter, who is best known as the chef and owner behind Victoria’s award-winning Brae.

Dan Hunter’s Summer Roast Chicken

Serves: 4 (or 2 hungry adults and 1 child)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Skill Level: Easy


For the chicken:

  • 1 x 1ó kg organic chicken
  • a handful of tarragon
  • thyme
  • fennel tops
  • lovage (mixed)
  • 1 lemon – cut in half
  • 1 head garlic – cut in half
  • olive oil to coat
  • generous amount of good quality salt

For the vegetables:

  • 2-4 small zucchini – flowers intact
  • 2-6 small tomatoes per person
  • as many potatoes as you feel like (such as Bintje, Kipfler, or small Dutch Creams)
  • a handful of chopped chives


For the Chicken

  1. Take the chicken from the fridge and out of any plastic packaging about 20-30 minutes before you want to cook it.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C.
  3. Dislocate the chicken legs at the tight muscle, laying the legs flat but still attached, and remove the wishone (this shortens the usual cooking time).
  4. Stuff herbs, lemon halves and garlic into the cavity and smother the skin with olive oil.
  5. Sprinkle a good amount of salt over the skin, and rub the oil and salt into it.
  6. Place the chicken on a roasting tray.

For the vegetables

  1. Harvest the veg fresh if possible – all are best just picked.
  2. Wash the veg and cut them simply, leaving some of the zucchini flowers whole and splitting the larger ones.
  3. Qarter the bigger tomatoes and leave the small ones whole.
  4. Peel and cut the potatoes into quarters, of lengthways if using Kipflers.
  5. Arrange the zucchini and tomato around the chicken.
  6. Dress everything well with olive oil, season with salt, and place the tray on the bottom rack of the oven.
  7. With the potatoes, it’s best to roast them separately and unseasoned so that they crisp up well. Place them in a separate baking dish, cover well with olive oil and place the tray on the top shelf of the oven.
  8. If all goes to plan, everything will be ready in 45 minutes. Dan leaves the oven at 220°C the whole time, then opens the door with the oven turned off for 10 minutes once everything is cooked so that the juices distribute nicely through the chicken.
  9. Season the zucchini and tomatoes with chives, season the potatoes to taste, carve the chook and serve.

Note that this recipe has been broken up in more steps than it has been in the book, other than that the recipe appears as is, an extract from Made With Love.

Made with Love features 36 Australian chefs, 34 British chefs, 19 New Zealand chefs, and 10 African chefs. It is available now where all good cookbooks are sold and is part of the same series as The Great Australian Cookbook.

Image supplied.


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy Editor of the AU review and a freelance travel writer. You can reach him on Instagram by following @chrisdsingh.

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