Foolproof slow roast chicken

Foolproof slow roast chicken

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(224 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 1.6kg chicken



    While it's the traditional Christmas bird, turkey is good to eat all year round, though…

  • 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…


  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, questions and tips

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7th Jun, 2020
Made this again today. Brilliant recipe if you just want to pop everything in the oven and get on with other things. I’ve stopped putting wine in, I use extra chicken stock instead. Now cook at 160c in fan oven an find that works better to make sure potatoes done and beautifully crispy. Chicken always moist and extremely tasty. Today I added thyme and celery salt instead of bay leaves. Very easy and delicious, even teenage son gets out of bed to eat this!
DJEvo's picture
3rd May, 2020
Great moist chicken, but needs more stock at the start as there is literally none left after cooking.
John Bridgwater's picture
John Bridgwater
3rd May, 2020
Doesn't work. Potatoes still hard in the middle. Should have known to par boil them first. What a waste.
8th Mar, 2020
I use this recipe everytime I cook a whole chicken because it is always perfect and never dry! Love it and do exactly as the recipe states.
20th Oct, 2019
Best chicken recipe I ve ever done Will definitely be my go to roast chicken from now on
AvoM's picture
4th Feb, 2019
I followed exactly the instructions, and it turned out terribly dry. My chicken was only 1.4kg, so maybe I should have reduced the cooking time a bit. I will try again, but so far I am not convinced that the slow cooing (i.e., 110 min at 140 deg + 30 min at 200 deg) is any better than my usual settings (i.e., 60 min at 200 deg).
Neil Dent's picture
Neil Dent
18th May, 2019
Did you cover it at first as per the method? It's always wonderfully moist and juicy when we make it.
16th Jan, 2018
By far the best roast chicken I have ever tasted and so super easy to do. I added double wine and stock as we like it juicy and our guests devoured it. I stuffed the chicken with lemon and thyme, and added fennel to the potatoes. The bones are now simmering for a nice chicken stock.
1st Jan, 2018
Popped some butter under the skin and left out the lemon as we didn't have any. Tender delicious roast chicken! Poured off the juices before turning the oven up for the last 30 mins for gravy and to give the potatoes chance to crisp up. Great method for roast chicken
7th Nov, 2017
Unlike noisysmurf< I didn't have enough liquid, the tin was dry at the end. I managed to resurrect it with white wine and scrape the bottom. It was delicious though, so I would say keep an eye on the liquid at each stage


2nd Nov, 2018
I normally cook my chicken in a tagine but am using a bigger pot this time. This is more liquid than i usually use, does the skin still crisp up?
21st Dec, 2015
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
18th Jan, 2016
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.
13th Nov, 2013
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?
8th May, 2019
We must have used this method over 50 times already, only thing we do slightly different is add 100ml extra water, cook first 50min at 140deg (fan oven) then take off the foil and bump it up to 160deg (fan oven) and cook for 50min. And the rest as per t he method. Comes out perfect every time, hope this helps
12th Oct, 2016
This recipe is incorrect. Fan is 140C and gas 160C.
jodes229's picture
23rd Oct, 2016
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).
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