Roast chicken with lemon herb butter, cooked until golden on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. This simple recipe shows how easy it is to make roast chicken for your Sunday dinner with minimal fuss and maximum flavour.
Pre heat the oven to 190°C (Fan) / 375°F. Prepare the herb butter by mashing the butter with minced garlic, lemon juice and zest and fresh thyme leaves. Set to one side. NOTE: Mash together using a fork.
50 g Softened butter, 2 cloves Garlic, ½ lemon juiced and zested, 3 Sprigs fresh thyme
Remove and discard any packaging from the chicken. If you have bought the chicken from your butchers check the cavity for the giblets. Remove and discard the giblets or if you prefer use to make gravy. If the legs are tied together, un-tie and open up to see inside the cavity. Place half a lemon, half a garlic bulb inside the cavity. Next take 2 sprigs of rosemary, together with 3 sprigs of thyme and wrap 2 bay leaves around the sprigs. Secure the bunch of fresh herbs by wrapping and tying with string. Add the bunch of herbs to the cavity along with the lemon and garlic.
1.5 kg Whole chicken, 2 Springs rosemary, 3 Sprigs thyme, ½ Lemon, ½ Garlic bulb, 2 Bay leaves
Next, take the lemon herb butter and use the back of a spoon to spread the butter all over the surface of the chicken skin. Make sure to spread over the legs and wings as well. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the top of the butter.
Salt and pepper
Once the butter is evenly spread, bring the legs back together to close the entrance to the cavity and tie with string.
Roughly chop up some root vegetables to sit in the base of the roasting tin to act as a rack for the chicken. Carefully transfer the prepared chicken onto the vegetable rack.
Root veggies roughly chopped to sit the chicken on in the tray
Place the roasting tin into the centre of the preheated oven and cook according to the weight of the bird: Cook for 20 minutes per lb or per 500g, plus an extra 20 minutes after this. Check the chicken at least once (ideally 2 or 3 times) during cooking and baste (spoon juices back over the skin). If the skin looks like it might be burning at any point, pop over a bit of foil.
Check the chicken is cooked by inserting a skewer into the breast. The juices should run out clear. Alternatively insert a meat thermometer into the breast. If the chicken appears under cooked place back in the oven for 10 minute intervals until cooked. If you are satisfied that the chicken is thoroughly cooked, cover with foil and then a tea towel (to keep the heat in) and rest for around 10 minutes. You can use this time to dish up the rest of your Sunday roast.
After the chicken is well rested, remove the foil and transfer the chicken to a carving board. Carve with a sharp knife and serve.
Garlic: This recipe uses fresh garlic but you could substitute with jarred garlic or garlic paste.Fresh herbs: This recipe uses fresh herbs for the both the butter and chicken. However, if you can't get hold of fresh you can replace each with a teaspoon of dried herbs.Root vegetables: the root vegetables are used as a rack for the chicken to sit on. I prefer to use veg as it adds to the flavour. However, if you have a metal rack for your roasting tin you can just use this instead.Do you cover roast chicken? Covering a chicken with foil during roasting is not necessary and I much prefer to leave the skin uncovered giving it plenty of time to turn to a nice golden brown colour. Follow the ‘expert tips’ in the post above to ensure the meat stays nice and juicy.How long does it take to roast a chicken? As a general rule chicken should be roasted for 20 minutes per lb or per 500g, plus an extra 20 minutes after that. So a 1.5kg chicken would need 1 hour 20 minutes and a 2kg chicken would need 1 hour 40 minutes. During roasting the chicken should be checked at least once (2 or 3 times if you can) and basted with the juices.What oven temperature for roast chicken? To make sure a chicken is thoroughly cooked, it should be roasted at approximately 180-190°C (Fan) / 350-375°F. You can pick the higher or lower end of this depending on how your oven cooks.What temperature should a thermometer read for chicken? If you like to use a meat thermometer to check that your chicken is cooked through, you should be looking for the thermometer to reach 75°C / 165°F when inserted into the middle of the chicken breast.