Perfect roast chicken

Perfect roast chicken

From Pasta to Pancakes
Claire Peters

Sweet, juicy and tender roast chicken stuffed with garlic, lemon and a good bit of butter. It’s gorgeous with roasted vegetables, but you could also serve it warm with lots of salads in the summer.


Quantity Ingredient
1.8kg fresh whole chicken
200g butter
1 garlic bulb, cut in half horizontally
1 lemon, halved


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Put the raw chicken in a roasting tray.
  2. Cut the butter into chunks and rub it over the skin on the top of the chicken. Fit some of the butter in the cavities between the legs and the wings.
  3. Tuck any leftover butter inside the chicken.
  4. Tuck half of the garlic inside the chicken.
  5. Peel and lightly crush the cloves from the other half. Rub all over the chicken skin. Wash your hands to remove any trace of raw chicken.
  6. Tuck a lemon half inside the chicken and squeeze the other half over the outside.
  7. Cover the chicken with foil and put it in the hot oven. It will need 20 minutes for every 500 g, plus an additional 20 minutes. So, a 1.8 kg bird will take 1 1/2 hours. Remove the foil after an hour to let the skin brown.
  8. Once you have removed the foil, baste the chicken with the cooking juices from time to time. Just spoon them over and quickly return it to the oven.
  9. Remove the chicken from the oven and place it on a carving board while you make the gravy. Resting it for 10–15 minutes will also make it easier to carve.

Optional extras:

  • Herbs such as sage, rosemary or thyme are delicious chopped and rubbed all over the buttered skin and stuffed inside the chicken. A glass of white wine is delicious poured into the roasting tray before you place it in the oven. It steams the chicken, keeping it moist, and intensifies the flavours.

Serving suggestions:

  • Serve with delicious crispy roast potatoes, gravy and a selection of vegetables, such as gooey leek gratin.


  • There is so much you can do with roast chicken. Keep the meat and use it in a salad, like Caesar salad, or chuck it into a carbonara pasta sauce for a delicious twist on pasta carbonara. Use the leftover meat for a sandwich, or even a stir-fry with some noodles. You can keep it in the fridge, covered, for 2 days.
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