Foolproof slow roast chicken

Foolproof slow roast chicken

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(164 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 20 mins


Serves 4
Slow-roasting is a great way to keep the chicken nice and moist. Adding the potatoes to the roasting tin infuses them with plenty of flavour, too

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal634
  • fat27g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs56g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre5g
  • protein44g
  • salt1.76g
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  • butter, for greasing



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 1.6kg chicken



    Chicken's many plus points - its versatility, as well as the ease and speed with which it…

  • 1kg roasting potatoes, halved or quartered if large



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 2 whole garlic heads, halved through the middle



    Part of the lily, or alium, family, of which onions are also a member, garlic is one of the most…

  • 100ml white wine
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • 2 stems rosemary, broken into sprigs



    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…


  1. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Brush a large roasting tin all over with butter and smear some over the skin of the chicken.

  2. Place the chicken in the tin and arrange the potatoes around it. Put the halved garlic heads in the tin, pour over the white wine and stock, then cover with foil and place in the oven. Cook for 1 hr then remove the foil and give the potatoes a shake. Add the herbs and lemon wedges, then cook uncovered for 50 mins.

  3. Turn the heat up to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Cook for 30 mins more, then remove the chicken and potatoes from the pan. Cover the chicken loosely with foil and leave to rest on a plate for at least 10 mins before carving. Keep the potatoes warm. Serve with any pan juices.

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Comments (183)

oshamambe's picture

Followed the recipe exactly and it was heavenly. I will definitely be making this again!! Chicken was so moist and tender.

lizleicester's picture

Made a delicious meal oh so easily. Didn't bother with the potatoes (hence only giving 4 stars), but the chicken was moist and tasty.

Tory04's picture

This is a fantastic recipe. I am not a very competent cook and yet this turned out absolutely brilliantly. Not sure I've ever had more moist, tasty chicken! Two tips; check the weight of your chicken and adjust the cooking times accordingly. My chicken had a recommended cook time of 1.5 hours, which I broadly did, with the first 40 mins covered (instead of 1 hour), second tip is to cook the potatoes separately - I drained most of the liquid half way through but the potatoes still weren't crisp enough for me, although they were gorgeously soft and fluffy - so I cooked them a bit longer after taking the chicken out.

nickylovell's picture

A fab recipe, really tasty! Don't understand why some have needed to cook the potatoes separately mine came out crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside

jamesgoldney's picture

Did it without the veg in the bottom. I also stuffed the chicken with tarragon and garlic and then finally shoved half a lemon up its bum to seal the cavity. Worked really well and infused the chicken with loads of flavour and helped prevent it from drying out.

noisysmurf's picture

Forgot to say, remember to drain off hallway so spuds go crispy. I use drained liquid as a base for the gravy. No need for granules. Just add some tomato purée, thyme, (fresh or dried) wine or sherry, veg stock and top up with hot water. Then leave on low heat to reduce a bit. Add cornflour to thicken, bring back slowly to boil and you have home made tasty gravy. It can stay on a low heat for a long as you need. So easy.

noisysmurf's picture

Made this again today. No fresh garlic so added garlic granules to stock along with extra parsley, paprika and salt. Oh my golly! It was delicious. Used 2kg bird and 2kg spuds. Just doubled the stock & wine. So easy to do this recipe. Never fails. This recipe is perfect for chicken. My husband says his fav potatoes as they have a tangy lemon flavour. May try with turkey...

damdin's picture

This is a great recipe. I halved lemon and put inside the chicken with garlic. I substituted white wine to white whine vinegar (1 cup water + 1 or 2 tbsp vinegar). Potatoes were crisp outside and yummy. Chicken was moist, tender and delicious. Toward the end of cooking some juices started coming out of chicken. That's why about 2-3 potatoes tasted a bit lemony but edible. I use the recipe with thighs as well. thanks for the recipe.

sazpots's picture

Really nice tender chicken. I'd use good quality stock though as used a stock-pot devolved in water and it made the potatoes taste like chicken crisps.

noisysmurf's picture

Made this again today for Sunday lunch. Have now made it about five times and it's turned out absolutely delicious every time! I use whatever size chicken I have (generally 2kg) and do about 1.5kg spuds. This easily does the 3 of us for two days with left over veg. Never parboil the spuds for this recipe BUT I do drain off the tray into a pan ready to make the homemade gravy. Just cook for a bit longer at both stages. Brilliant recipe, so easy and always delivers. Thanks Good housekeeping!

roto's picture

found this recipe easy to follow, though I put the lemon and a garlic into the cavity of the bird. also took advice from comments and par boiled the potatoes before roasting. meat is moist and tasty, potatoes were crispy. I made a gravy with the pan juices by adding some chicken gravy granules to thicken.

Natashka's picture

In process of cooking it at the moment, the smell from the oven is fantastic!

tina963's picture

So easy, I normally don't like cooking chicken as worried if cooked properly, but the chicken was juicy and tasty. My family loved it. Even had time it sit down for a bit whilst cooking! I didn't add the lemon or bay leaves but it still tasted great! Will definitely be doing again.

mimsy55's picture

This was delicious! I followed the advice of the comments and parboiled the potatoes for 10 mins before putting them in with the chicken. They turned out perfectly crispy. I didn't find the placing of the lemon under the chicken all that effective flavour-wise, so will probably place the lemon in the chicken cavity next time. Also, I forgot to put in the bay leaves! It still had a wonderful flavour but I would be interested to see the difference that the bay leaves make.

gre5672's picture

Delicious! Used lemon thyme as no rosemary. Lovely. Agree with previous comments re potatoes - best done in the traditional way.

denizemurray's picture

Lovely! Completely moist with a crispy skin and the smell of it roasting was amazing. I`ll definitely be cooking it again.

mawaheb's picture

Absolutely amazing. I never got a chicken roast right until I found this recipe!

I added carrots to the potatoes and used homemade chicken stock- everyone at the dinner table loved it.

hatface1's picture

Made gravy in the pan. I prefer to pierce half lemons and microwave a for half a minute then shove them (carefully!) in the cavity with tongs. infuses the chicken more, and no lemony potatoes!


latecomer's picture

Please help - I love this recipe and have always used 1.6kg bird which works beautifully.
I've just bought an expensive, very good quality chicken but it's 2.16kg and I'm desperate to use this recipe to roast it tomorrow but am unsure of the timings!
Would be grateful if anyone can help!!!

skt13_devon's picture

Loved this moist chicken! Cooked it for friends who said it was relish!

Took advice of others and kept potatoes clear of the lemons, which worked a treat. Will be making this again very soon.


Questions (3)

JoanneC007's picture

Hi am new to this site so look forward to the help please. I made this recipe a month ago and was fantastic so I decided to do it for Christmas and as am getting a 5.5kg chicken I wondered if I should add more stock etc, also am presuming I should cook it for longer?!?

goodfoodteam's picture

Sorry we couldn't answer in time for Christmas, but for future use, this should help.  We are thinking, due to the weight, are you cooking a turkey rather than a chicken? We haven't tested this recipe using a bird of that size so cannot guarantee perfect results however, because of the larger size the timings and cooking method will be slightly different. Put the chicken/turkey in the tin (you are going to need a very large one!) with the garlic and 150ml each wine and stock. Cover and cook for 2 hours. Add the potatoes, and a bit more stock if you need to, then cover and cook 1 hour more. Now carry on with the recipe as stated. To check that the bird is cooked cut into the leg joint to ensure that the juices that come out are clear with no sign of pink. If there is, carry on cooking it until they are clear. If you are using a digital thermometer, the thigh should be cooked to 80C and the breast to 75C.

ljlee's picture

Could someone please translate the oven temps. I can convert from c to f, but what does "/fan" and "/gas 3" and "/gas 7" mean for US oven?

Tips (2)'s picture

This recipe is incorrect. Fan is 140C and gas 160C.

jodes229's picture

Sorry, but recipe IS correct. The 160C is for electric oven without convector. 140C is for electric oven with convector (fan). Gas ovens are not shown in Celsius or Farenheit, but in numbers (1,2,3,4 and so on).