Lemon and garlic roast chicken

This is a mash up of a Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith recipe, with my usual twist and wanting to do it my way. This leaves a really moist chicken, but as handsome just complained, it is so moist in the end, that you might think it’s not cooked. As I explained, if the meat thermometer says it’s cooked, it’s cooked. This is delicious, best with salads, no gravy, as a stand alone in its own right.


1 whole chicken
2 tablespoons butter
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 small onion
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 420 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Rinse chicken under running cold water, after removing giblets, if there.
  3. Drain any remaining water and pat dry with kitchen paper.
  4. Place in deep oven dish (one inch minimum).
  5. At butt end of chicken, run fingers between breast and skin to loosen and leave a pocket for ingredients. Take half the butter, rosemary and garlic and push under skin over the top of each breast.
  6. Slice the lemon into six slices, leaving two ends. Push the slices under the skin so that there are three over each breast. Place remaining lemon ends into butt cavity.
  7. Quarter onion and place into cavity with remaining rosemary, salt, pepper and oil.
  8. Salt and pepper the top of the bird then place in oven. Roast for 20 mins at 420 degrees F and then reduce to 375 degrees F for 20 mins per 500g/1 lb.
  9. Turn the bird onto breast side down halfway during cooking.
  10. Once the cooking time is over, check with the meat thermometer that the thickest leg piece is at 165 degrees F (I always get it to 180 degrees F).
  11. Cover with foil, a couple of teatowels and leave to rest breast side down for at least 30 mins.
  12. Carve as you like and enjoy!


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