Hayden’s roast chicken with potato, kale and lemon

Nici Wickes' roast chicken recipe is inspired by Etta restaurant's terrific take on the classic roast chook. It's succulent, juicy, crispy-skinned and delicious. Serve with potatoes, kale and lemon

By Nici Wickes
  • 1 hr 10 mins cooking
  • 2 hrs marinating
  • Serves 2
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Nici says "I get so much inspiration from eating out at restaurants and cafés, and I’m not shy to ask a chef for a recipe if I think it would suit these pages. On a recent trip to Melbourne, I was lucky enough to eat at Etta, a fabulous restaurant owned by a Kiwi couple. I’ve long been a fan of the owner-chef Hayden McMillan’s food, who served up the best roast chicken I had ever eaten. When I asked him how he’d cooked it, “brined, sous-vide, then roasted” was his reply. But he added that a similar effect – succulent and juicy, crispy-skinned and delicious – could be achieved in a home kitchen by poaching, then roasting and it really does!"


  • 4-8 chicken wings or nibbles
  • 1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • few sprigs of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus a decent grind of black pepper
  • water
  • 8 baby agria potatoes, halved
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 small lemons, quartered
  • large pinch of sea salt
  • 6-8 kale leaves, central stem removed if using large leaves


  • 1
    Place the chicken, onion, herbs and seasoning in saucepan, just covering with cold water. Heat to a very gentle simmer (a tremble) and cook for 7 minutes. Turn off the heat and sit for 1-2 hours until cooled.
  • 2
    Heat oven to 180°C. Toss potatoes in half the oil and spread out in a shallow roasting dish. Roast for 15-20 minutes.
  • 3
    Remove the wings from the poaching liquid (cool and freeze to use as a stock), dry the chicken pieces and add to the roasting dish, along with the lemon wedges. Splash with the remaining olive oil and a decent sprinkle of salt. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until golden and crispy, adding the kale for the final 10-15 minutes to cook until crisp.
  • 4
    Serve the chicken with the potatoes and kale, doused in juice from the roasted lemons.


  • I’ve used wings in this recipe, but it works with any chicken cut and even a whole chicken, just adjust the poaching time to 9 minutes for a whole bird.

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