Here’s our Cellar Maison spring recipe and wine matches from our New Zealand Wine Cellar (London) interview.

Sometimes it’s nice to ease into spring, keeping some comfort food but venturing into fresher flavours. This recipe uses a base of sourdough bread to soak up the chicken’s cooking juices resulting in a ready made, luscious accompaniment.


The pictures below are of a butterflied chicken but you can also roast whole, just increase the cooking time.


  • 1 chicken, free range and organic – either whole, or butterflied
  • 2 lemons
  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch of French tarragon
  • 80 grams of butter
  • 200 ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 a loaf of good quality sourdough bread


Turn oven to 200°C.

Cut the bread into thick slabs and place in the bottom of a roasting pan. Drizzle with 100ml of extra virgin olive oil and scatter with half of the garlic and fresh thyme, add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Soften half the butter and mix with the finely chopped tarragon and the remaining crushed garlic. Carefully spread the butter mixture under the chicken skin. Place one whole lemon inside the cavity or under the chicken, if butterflied.

Sit the chicken on top of the bread. Season with salt and pepper, scatter over the rest of the thyme and the other lemon that has been sliced roughly. Dot with the remaining butter and drizzle over the olive oil.

Roast for 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 150°C and cook for a further 20- 30 minutes – Depending on if the bird is whole or butterflied. (Check the juices run clear from the thickest part of the thigh). Remove from the oven and rest in a warm place for 15 minutes. Squeeze over the juice of the whole cooked lemon.

Serve with chunks of the chicken-cooked bread and pan juices.


Simple steamed asparagus, peas or other fresh spring greens with fresh mint, a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon.


Why not try one of the suggestions from our NZ Cellar interview?