Roast chicken

Roast chicken

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr, 30 mins


Serves 4
Discover just how easy a roast can be with our step-by-step guide to classic roast chicken

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal800
  • fat39g
  • saturates13g
  • carbs67g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre5g
  • protein50g
  • salt1.93g
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  • 2 unwaxed lemons
  • organic or free-range chicken, about 1.8kg/4lb



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

  • 6 bay leaves
  • small bunch rosemary, broken into sprigs



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

  • 2 whole garlic heads, cut across the middle



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

  • 1½ kg potato, peeled and quartered



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

  • 2 tbsp sunflower, vegetable or mild olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 50g butter, very soft



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…


  1. Add flavour from the inside: Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Halve the lemons and prick one half all over with your knife. Cut the rest into wedges and set aside. If the chicken’s legs are tied with string, remove it. Put the lemon half inside the cavity with a bay leaf, a few sprigs of rosemary and one half head of garlic.

  2. Assemble the roast: Tip the potatoes and remaining garlic into the roasting tin, toss with the oil and season. Push the potatoes to the edges and sit the chicken in the middle. Brush butter all over the breasts and legs with your pastry brush. Season and make sure the potatoes are evenly spaced around the tin. Re-tie the legs if you like.

  3. Roast and check it’s cooked: Roast in the centre of the oven for 1 hr 10 mins, brushing twice with more butter during cooking. To check that it’s cooked, push a skewer through the thickest part of the thigh. The juices will run clear when ready. Lift the bird out of the tin with the wooden spoons and sit it on your board or platter. Cover with foil and rest. This will give a juicier chicken.

  4. Crisp potatoes and add flavour: Turn oven up to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7 and put the shelf up one rung. Toss potatoes, remaining herbs and lemon wedges in the pan juices, then roast for 15-20 mins, turning once, until crisp. Serve your roast with simple vegetables like broccoli.

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Comments, questions and tips

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marmiteetponpon's picture
15th May, 2014
check this scrumptious oven roasted chicken with herbs and citrus at marmite et ponpon
kathryndonna's picture
22nd Sep, 2013
A 1.8kg chicken will need much longer that 1 hour 10 minutes to roast, the one I have just put in the oven says 1 hour 45 on the label an I will probably give it 2. I prefer to roast my potatoes separately, a chicken gives off so much liquid when it roasts that the potatoes don't get a chance to crisp. All good flavours in this recipe but not quite right in practice.
25th Aug, 2009
they have this recipe in Greece and it always tastes delicious. I put the butter under the skin and make small cuts in the chicken to put pieces of garlic in. I also add black olives 30' before the end. Cooking time for the chicken was longer than in the recipe. It goes well with a greek salad!
23rd Mar, 2009
Absolutely gorgeous!
23rd Mar, 2009
Absolutely gorgeous!
1st Mar, 2008
This recipe is fantastic. The chicken is lovely and moist (although I cooked it on gas 6 instead of 5 because it said to on the instructions) and the vegetables were great. I'll definately cook this again.
15th Jan, 2008
The Chicken needed about 30 mins longer, than the recipe stated but it tasted really moist and tender. The vegetables were fantastic. Would definately do again.
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