Preheat the oven to 220°C.
To butterfly the chicken:
cut down either side of the backbone with a sharp cook’s knife and remove the backbone.
Then, push down gently on the breastbone with the heel of your hand to flatten the bird out.
Remove the wishbone for easier carving later.
Or, ask your local butcher to butterfly it for you.
Place the chicken in a roasting tin that will hold it comfortably.
Place the herbs under the chicken to perfume it as it cooks.
Rub the skin with olive oil and season well with salt.
Place in the oven and roast for 40 minutes.
Remove from the oven, cover with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
When you’re ready to plate:
cut the legs off the chicken, then cut off the breasts and cut them in half lengthways.
To dress the dish: squeeze the lemon juice into the roasting juices,
mix well, then add a little olive oil and lots of pepper, stir well
and pour some over the chicken.
Serve immediately with all your favourite Christmas side dishes.