Roasted Basil and Lemon Chicken with Jerusalem Artichokes

, from Issue #31. September, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Roasted Basil and Lemon Chicken with Jerusalem Artichokes

Serves: 4-6


1 free-range chicken, preferably corn-fed
100 grams cream cheese at room temperature
1 clove garlic, crushed
finely grated zest 1 lemon
2 spring onions, finely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped basil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

To cook
olive oil
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground paprika
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
800 grams Jerusalem artichokes


Preheat the oven to 180˚C.

Combine the cream cheese, garlic, lemon zest, spring onions and the basil in a bowl and season.

To prepare the chicken, use kitchen scissors to cut down either side of the backbone. Remove and discard the backbone, snip the wishbone and push the chicken against the bench to lie flat.

Using your fingers, gently ease the skin away from the flesh of the breast, thighs and drumsticks. Taking care not to tear the skin, spread the cream cheese mixture over the flesh and smooth the skin back over the top.

To cook: Brush both sides of the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay the lemon slices over the skin, brush with olive oil and dust with paprika. Place skin side up in a roasting dish.

Scrub the artichokes well to remove any dirt. If they are very large, cut in half. Toss with a little olive oil, season and place around the chicken. Roast for 1 hour, basting the chicken occasionally with the pan juices and turning the Jerusalem artichokes. The chicken is cooked when the juices from the thigh run clear when pierced with a skewer. Remove the artichokes from the tray when tender and keep warm. Rest the chicken, loosely covered, for 10 minutes.

To serve: Carve the chicken and arrange on a platter with the artichokes. Spoon over the pan juices and serve with Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Almonds.

Jerusalem artichokes: this autumn/winter vegetable is neither an artichoke nor is it from Jerusalem – it’s actually native to North America. When buying Jerusalem artichokes look for firm tubers with as few bumps and lumps as possible, so that peeling is easier and there isn’t too much waste. Store somewhere cool and dark, as you would potatoes.