Food & Drink

Lotte Duncan's Roast Chicken with Marmalade Butter

Marmalade - not just for breakfast but delicious cooked with roast chicken.

This recipe for roast chicken is taken from Lotte Duncan's first cookbook, Lotte's Country Kitchen, which we have just reviewed, giving it the thumbs up.

Lotte isn't keen on marmalade but came up with this recipe which is useful when you've just made a batch of new season's marmalade and want to move last year's on. That said, though, it works well at anytime, marmalade surfeit or not.

Serves 4


50g/2oz butter, softened
2 tablespoons Seville orange marmalade
1 piece preserved stem ginger in syrup, drained and chopped
2kg/41/2lb free-range chicken
1 small onion
salt and freshly ground black pepper
roast potatoes and steamed purple sprouting broccoli or curly kale, to serve

Preheat the oven to 180˚C/fan oven 160˚C/gas mark 4. Aga 4/3-door Middle of baking oven. Aga 2-door Grid shelf on floor of roasting oven with cold plain shelf on second set runners.


Mix the butter, marmalade and stem ginger together. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper and place the onion inside the cavity.

Gently tease the skin on the chicken breast away from the flesh. Place half the butter under the skin. Press down and spread it all around the breast area.

Spread the remaining butter all over the outside of the chicken.

Place a sheet of foil, approximately 75–100cm/21/2ft–1yd long and large enough to make a loose tent over the chicken, in a roasting tin. Place the chicken on the foil and cover it loosely with the foil to form a tent. Secure the edges of the foil by folding them over.

Roast the chicken for 11/2 hours. During this cooking time pull back the foil a couple of times and baste the chicken with the marmalade butter, making sure you return the foil to a tent.

After 1.30 hours remove the chicken from the oven and open the foil. Baste the chicken with the juices and butter and then roast it, uncovered, for another 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the oven and transfer it to a plate. Cover it with the foil again and leave it in a warm place to rest for 10–20 minutes before serving.

Serve the chicken with roast potatoes, purple sprouting broccoli or kale and the marmalade butter (see Lotte’s tips).


I wouldn’t try to make gravy with the sediment left over in the roasting tin. Normally I’d say go ahead, give it a good scrape and pour in some wine. However because of the sugar in the marmalade, scraping the pan would only lead to misery and bitter gravy. The marmalade butter at the bottom of the pan that comes out during cooking is all you’ll need to spoon over the chicken. Pour that out of the tin and keep it warm and serve with the chicken.

Taken from Lotte's Country Kitchen, published by Absolute Press, £20.
Buy from Amazon.

Ti find out more about Lotte Duncan, visit

8 February 2011