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Emigrated from America to New Zealand and never looked back. Couldn't have asked for a better husband, family & life!


For some reason, last week I was watching The People’s Cookbook on UKTV and this cute little old lady, Flossie Squires, came on. Now, I probably need to explain what this show is all about. Well, here is the abbreviated summary...there are two professional chefs who choose recipes sent in by viewers. These chefs each choose one viewer’s recipes (usually a main and a dessert each), and then bring in the people who sent the recipes to demonstrate and cook them together. The idea is that the chefs are competing against each other and cook the recipes for a panel of judges (ordinary people like you or me) and whichever recipes are chosen, will eventually be added to The People’s Cookbook when it is published.

Now, going back to the cute little old lady, Flossie (what a great name too!). Well, her recipe for a main was quite simple really. It was basically a roasted chicken...with a twist though. She stuffed her chicken with lemon wedges and herbs, saving two wedges at the end to cram under the wings...then she smeared Marmite all over the chicken before covering it in bacon.

I know – my American friends are saying, “what the hell is Marmite?” Marmite is the Kiwi/British version of Vegemite and it is a very pungent yeast spread that Kiwis, Aussies, and Brits like to use for making sandwiches with or to spread (very sparingly) on toast. It is also good, in moderation as a soup stock flavouring as well. I know I had seen Marmite (and Vegemite) in American groceries on the west coast, so I know it is available if you want to give this recipe a try. (Otherwise, perhaps I can “hook you up” with some...) The folks out here don’t get the American fascination with peanut butter, yet this yeast spread stuff is far more potent than any peanut butter I have ever come across. So – remember to use it sparingly if you plan on eating it straight or adding it to your soups!!!

Anyway, I have changed the recipe just a little, but it was absolutely fantastic and the whole house smelled gorgeous!!! We have a lemon tree in our garden, but I wanted to try this with an orange because I find that lemons are pretty strong when used with chicken. Oranges seem to lend a little citrus without overpowering the other flavours like lemons sometimes can. This recipe is certainly a must try if you like roasted chicken and/or bacon. I have to say also, that no salt is needed due to the saltiness of both the spread and the bacon, so really, garlic and pepper are the only seasonings required! Let’s get this started!


1 Roasting Chicken (I think mine was about 2 kg, that’s roughly 4-5 Lbs)
1 Large Orange
2-3 Tbsp Marmite or Vegemite (not much flavour variation between the two, really)
2-3 Cloves Garlic, crushed
1 Tsp Black Pepper (more or less)
200-300 Gm Streaky Bacon (about 8 strips or so of American-style Bacon)
½ Cup Chicken or Vegetable Stock


Preheat your oven to 190° C (375° F).

First cut your orange into several wedges and squeeze just a little juice into a small bowl (perhaps a teaspoon or less – only to help thin the marmite a bit)

Next, add the marmite and garlic then mix thoroughly together.

Now, rinse and pat dry the chicken before sprinkling a bit of pepper inside, and then stuffing all but 2 small wedges of the orange in too.

Next, you will spread the garlicky marmite mixture all over the chicken – top, bottom, sides – before placing the chicken, breast side up, in a shallow roasting dish.

Now, tuck the last two thin orange wedges under the wings before covering the chicken with bacon rashers.

Lastly, you pour the stock (or water, if you don’t have stock) into the bottom of the pan and cook the chicken for about 20 minutes per 500 Gm (per pound) or until the internal temperature is 82° C (180° F).

The bacon can be removed after the first hour if you desire. I cooked my chicken for 2 hours and left the bacon on. It was moist, tender and absolutely fantastic! Now...if you want gravy, you can pour the pan juices into a small saucepan and heat to a boil, and then add a bit of corn flour (corn starch) pre-mixed with either cold milk or cold water to thicken it. Season if desired, and voila!

I par-boiled then roasted potatoes and carrots to accompany our chicken, but you can fix whatever you like as a side accompaniment.

Good health and enjoy!

4 Thoughts & Remarks:

Cheryl said...

Your chicken looks delish, however I have smelled Marmite and no way do I want anything to do with it, LOL!!!

NuKiwi said...

Too funny! I know – it smells AWFUL!! I totally agree.

However, this really is fantastic – honest to God! It’s a bit like orange and soy together...but bacon makes everything better too!!! :o)

Believe me, I was hesitant to potentially waste an otherwise perfectly good chicken on this one, but I decided to take the chance and I am really pleased that I did.

Joie de vivre said...

I am really excited to see this post. On a whim, I bought a jar of Marmite a few months ago. I can only use the tichiest bit on a piece of toast otherwise it is too salty to eat. I've been thinking at this rate, it's going to take me 10 years to finish the jar. If this chicken uses 2-3TBls, that will be a good use for it! Thanks!

Bronnie said...

I love this! Can't wait to try it. Vegemite is a secret ingredient for many good dishes in Australia. One chef I know sneaks it into slow-cooked lamb shanks ..
Love your blog and your love for good food!