The Great Australian Cookbook

The man behind Melbourne's prestigious Chinese restaurants, Flower Drum and Lau's Chinese Kitchen, shares his family's roast chicken recipe.


  • 1.5 kg free-range chicken (no bigger), washed and dried thoroughly inside and out

  • Soy sauce, optional to drizzle

  • Olive oil for coating the skin

  • Steamed bok choy, to serve

  • For cavity

  • thumb-sized piece of ginger

  • ½ tsp sea salt

  • ½ tsp brown sugar

  • few drops sesame oil

  • 2 spring onions, trimmed, washed and folded into three

  • ¾ tbsp light soy sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, skin on and lightly smashed

  • 2–3 tbsp Shaoxing wine (not salty cooking Shaoxing wine)

  • 1–2 grinds white pepper

  • For sauce

  • ¼ cup water

  • ½ tsp potato starch


  • 1.

    Pre-heat oven to 185°C.

  • 2.

    Combine the cavity ingredients in a bowl and place in chicken cavity. Close the back of the chicken with a skewer, making sure to gather in all the loose skin so the moisture stays in.

  • 3.

    Rub chicken skin with a drizzle of soy, olive oil and sea salt, and put chicken on a rack placed in a roasting dish containing ½ cup of water. Roast for 65 minutes, then remove from oven and drain any cavity juices into the roasting pan. Cover chicken and rest for 10 minutes.

  • 4.

    For the sauce, combine water and potato flour. Skim any fat from the juices in the pan, and deglaze (stir to mix in any flavours stuck to the bottom of the pan). Add water and potato flour mixture and stir over a low heat until thickened. Strain into a jug to serve.

  • 5.

    Serve chicken, jointed, with sauce, fried rice and steamed bok choy.


For more great recipes like this, get your copy of The Great Australian Cookbook here.

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