Recipe supplied by Maggie Beer.

This roast chicken recipe has become an unintended signature dish of sorts for Maggie - "It's funny how something so ‘normal’ can be so special, but I think the flavour of a properly brought up chook always shines through. And of course, I always use Verjuice, that’s absolutely key."

1 free range chook
24 garlic cloves
1 lemon
Salt flakes & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup Verjuice
50ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup water
3 sprigs rosemary

Remove the chicken from the fridge one hour prior to roasting.
Preheat oven to 230°C.
Place a small pot of water over a high heat and bring to the boil. Blanch unpeeled garlic for 3 minutes and drain, set aside.
Squeeze lemon juice into the cavity of the chicken and season with salt and pepper.
In a bowl, mix together 50 ml of Verjuice, 50 ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, sea salt and pepper. Brush mixture over the chicken skin.
Sit chicken breast side up on a trivet in a shallow-sided baking dish and place into the preheated oven on the middle shelf and cook for 20 minutes.
Reduce the oven to 180°C. Combine 100 ml Verjuice and 125 ml water in a jug, then carefully turn the chook over so the breasts are facing down and pour over the Verjuice mix. Add the garlic cloves and rosemary to the base of the baking tray and continue to cook for 20 minutes.
Reduce the oven to 120°C and pour over the remaining Verjuice. Cook for another 20 minutes then turn chook over so the breasts are facing up for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and rest breast facing down for 25 minutes.
Refrigerate cooking juices to separate fat. Remove fat and warm jus to pour over plated chook and roasted garlic.