June 5, 2012 | by  | in Opinion |
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Recipe: Roast Chicken With Lemon & Thyme

Roasts are, to me, the ultimate in home-style cooking, and roast chicken is unanimously a favourite with every flatmate I’ve ever had. I’ve tried many different ways for roasting chicken, but since discovering this method I haven’t looked back. The lemon and herbs taste beautiful with the chicken and the butter keeps the meat lovely and moist. I like to roast my vegetables in the same tray as the chicken, along with a lemon cut in half and a few cloves of garlic.

I have adapted this recipe from Gordon Ramsay’s Christmas turkey (which is also the best turkey recipe I’ve come across!)


  • ▴  1 whole chicken, about 1.5kg for four people
  • ▴  1 lemon
  • ▴  75g butter
  • ▴  splash of olive oil
  • ▴  4 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme or 2 tsp dried thyme
  • ▴  6 cloves of garlic
  • ▴  1 onion


Soften the butter in the microwave, making sure you don’t melt it. Halve the lemon and squeeze some of the juice into the butter. Add a splash of olive oil and thyme and season generously. Using clean hands, slide your fingers under the skin of the chicken, opening up a gap between the skin and the breast. Be careful not to rip the skin! Roll up small bits of the butter and slide it under the skin, spreading it as evenly as possible over the breast. Rub the rest of the butter all over the outside of the chicken. Peel the onion and cut into wedges. Place the onion, garlic and lemon inside the cavity. Put the chicken into a deep baking tray, cover and roast for about 1 hour and 20 minutes at 190°C. To check if the chicken is cooked, stick a sharp knife into the thigh – if the juices are clear, the chicken is done. Remove the lemon and onion before carving the chicken and serving with roasted vegetables.

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