Around the world in 80 dishes No.30: Peruvian roast chicken

Ingredients to serve 4

One 1.8kg whole chicken
1 lemon, cut into quarters
5 garlic cloves, peeled
Fine sea salt
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
60ml plus 2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons paprika
One-and a-half tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Half a teaspoon dried oregano


Pull off the excess fat around the cavity of the chicken and discard, then rinse and pat dry, inside and out. Rub the chicken with 2 of the lemon quarters. From the edge of the cavity, slip a finger under the skin of each breast, then gently but thoroughly loosen the skin from the meat of the breasts and thighs.

Finely chop the garlic cloves, then, using the side and the blade of your knife, scrape and chop the garlic and half a teaspoon of salt together into a paste. Working with a little of the paste at a time, gently push the mixture between the chicken skin and meat, being careful not to tear the skin. As you work the mixture in, rub your hand over the outside of the skin to smooth out the paste and push it further down between the skin and meat where you may not be able to reach with your hand.

Whisk the vinegar, the 2 tablespoons of wine, oil, paprika, cumin, black pepper and oregano together. Put the chicken into a 3.75l resealable bag and pour the marinade on top. Seal the bag, then turn several times to distribute the marinade around the bird. Put the bag into a bowl and refrigerate for 5-8 hours.

Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. Transfer the chicken from the bag to a baking dish and pour the marinade into a small bowl. Squeeze the remaining lemon pieces into the cavity of the bird, put the pieces into the cavity and tie the legs together with kitchen string. Season the chicken all over with 1 teaspoon of salt.

Roast the bird in the oven for 15 minutes, then baste with a little of the marinade. Reduce the heat to 190C/gas mark 5 and continue to roast, basting every 20 minutes with the marinade and the pan juices, for about a further hour and a quarter, until the juices of the chicken run clear when the thigh is pierced.

Transfer the chicken to a chopping board. Skim off the oil in the pan and bring the juices to a simmer over a medium-high heat. Add the remaining wine and, scraping any bits from the bottom of the dish, simmer for 3 minutes. Carve the bird, and serve with the pan sauce.

Taken from 'The Perfectly Roasted Chicken' by Mindy Fox (Kyle Cathie, £19.99).

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