Prepare some white wine or pickling liquid for the sauce, lemon peel and cotton thread for trussing.
Clean the outside and cavity of the chicken and pat dry well. Salt and pepper the cavity then fill with lemon peel and rosemary.
Tear the cabbage leaves with your hands and put in the cavity. Truss the tail and legs with cotton thread to keep its shape.
Salt and pepper the surface of the chicken and smear with olive oil all over.
Place the rosemary and cloves on top of the chicken, after step 3. Cut the onion, carrot and potatoes into bite sizes and arrange them on a baking dish. Roast in the oven preheated to 200°C for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile cut the other vegetables into bite sizes and blanch them.
Remove step 4 from the oven after 15 minutes and drizzle over with olive oil to prevent from browning too much. Return it to the 200°C oven.
Take step 6 from the oven every 10 minutes and brush with olive oil to prevent from over browning and roast for 30 minutes altogether.
To step 7, arrange vegetables on to the dish and drizzle with the fat sitting around the chicken. Return the dish into the oven and roast further, for about 20 minutes.
I make the sauce by mixing the cooking juice from the chicken and vegetables with pickling liquid. If you do not have any pickling liquid use white wine instead. Before using it boil the wine first.
This is how it looks after roasting.
Story Behind this Recipe
My children asked I roast a whole chicken for Christmas 5 years ago and they loved it. Since then I have repeated this every Christmas. This year I shared this recipe at my cooking lessons.
The chicken is very tender and juicy when cooked this way. Salt and pepper the outside of the chicken generously. They are going to come off with the cooking juice and the resultant chicken will be tasteless. You can use thyme instead if you can not find any rosemary.