Saffron roast chicken

Saffron doesn’t only give this roast chicken recipe an unusually delicate flavour but also adds rich golden hue to the skin of the bird.

Saffron roast chicken


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 6 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 6 large cloves garlic
  • 1 onion


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Heat a pan and toast the saffron threads until fragrant (1-2 mins).
  3. Place in a pestle and mortar with the salt and peppercorns and grind to a fine powder. (If you don’t have a pestle and mortar place in a small bowl and grind with something with a heavy base like the glass spice containers).
  4. Run a finger underneath the skin on the breast of the chicken to create a pocket between the breast and the skin being careful not to puncture the skin.
  5. Rub the spice mix under the skin, on top of the skin and in the cavity of the chicken.
  6. Break one sprig of rosemary in half and gently place between the skin and breast on each side of the chicken.
  7. Take two slices of lemon and place under the skin.
  8. Stuff the cavity with two sprigs of rosemary, two cloves of garlic and two slices of lemon.
  9. Peel and quarter the onion and place in a roasting dish.
  10. Add the remaining rosemary and garlic and place the chicken on top.
  11. Roast in the oven for approx. 1 hour until the juices run clear.
  12. Allow to rest for 10 mins to allow the juices to re-distribute before carving and serving.