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Perfect roast chicken

The easiest most delicious meal with probably some left over or certainly a carcass with which to make delicious stock. Always voted one of a favourite meals!


Serves 4-6

1 large chicken, preferably organic, free range or cornfed
75g unsalted butter
2 lemons
handful of thyme
sea salt & freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 200°C

Place the chicken in a roasting pan. Cut one lemon in half around the middle, not lengthways. Slice the other lemon. Paste the butter all over the top of the chicken, sprinkle with salt & pepper. Squeeze the halved lemons over the chicken, put half into the cavity, the bunch of thyme then the other half of the lemon. Place the sliced lemon on the top including on top of the legs. Roast in oven for approximately an hour, basting with the juices a couple of times. Take out and put a knife into the thickest part of the chicken. The lemon slices will become black and charred but they all add to the flavour. If the juices run clear take out and cover with foil to rest for 15 minutes. If juices are still pink, put back in oven for further 15 minutes and test again. Carve chicken, put the juices into a jug or gravy boat and serve hot. Perfect with roast potatoes or crusty bread to mop up the delicious lemony juices.

Put any leftover bits of meat (its amazing how much you can find) in a tuppaware and freeze for adding to a salad, pasta or risotto.
To make delicious chicken stock, place the carcass in a large pan, add an onion, carrot, parsley, celery, whatever you have lurking in your veg drawer and simmer for an hour. Pour through sieve and put in freezer bags to use for soup or risotto.

Approximate cost £5.16 for a regular chicken, £9.44 for cornfed chicken