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Roast Chicken

Nagi Maehashi
Slathered with a garlic-herb-lemon butter, this roast chicken is juicy on the inside with crispy golden skin on the outside. An all round flavour bomb with the most incredible liquid gold pan juices to use as the sauce! See notes for gravy option and cook times for other chicken sizes. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, chicken
Servings 5 People
Calories 708 kcal


  • 2 kg whole chicken patted dry
  • ▢ Salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp ▢ 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon quartered
  • 3 rosemary sprigs


  • 100 g unsalted butter melted
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp sage finely chopped
  • 2 tsp rosemary finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley finely chopped
  • ½ tsp each salt and black pepper


  • 250 ml dry white wine or low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 onion quartered (Note 2)
  • 1 garlic bulb halved horizontally


  • Take the chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Preheat oven to 220C/450F (standard) or 200C/430F (fan/convection). Put shelf in the middle.
  • Mix together Butter ingredients. Add juice from 2 wedges of lemon.
  • Place chicken in a roasting pan. Use a dessert spoon to loosen skin from chicken (see video). Do the top (the breast) and the drumsticks – not the underside.
  • Prop chicken upright, drizzle butter under skin, using most of the garlic/herb sludge, but saving a bit of butter for the skin (Note 3).
  • Drizzle / smear remaining butter all over surface of the chicken. Squeeze over juice of 2 lemon wedges.
  • Stuff used lemon wedges and rosemary inside chicken.
  • Tie drumstick ends with string and tuck wing tips under the chicken.
  • Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper.
  • Place onion and garlic in the pan, place chicken on top. Pour wine around, drizzle chicken with oil.
  • Transfer to oven. Roast for 10 minutes, then turn oven down to 180C/350F (all oven types). Roast for a further 1 hr 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 75C/165F or until juices run clear when pierced at the join between the drumstick and the body. Baste twice (30 min then at 1 hr), spooning pan juices over skin.
  • Rest for 15 minutes – don’t cover, skin becomes wet.
  • Serve with pan juices (see video for how to carve). I discard onion but use the garlic in the pan. See notes for side suggestions & how to use carcass for incredible homemade broth!


Herbs - Rosemary and sage are classic pairings with chicken, parsley adds more green specks in the butter and a tiny touch of freshness. Feel free to use herbs of choice. Go easy with more rosemary - it’s a strong herb.Can also sub with 2 – 3 tsp of dried herbs of choice (use 2 tsp of strong flavoured dried herbs like thyme, oregano, sage, mixed herbs, tarragon or 3 tsp of light flavoured dried herbs like dill, parsley, dill)
2. Onion and garlic: These serve 2 purposes: elevate chicken out of liquid a bit and they add tons of flavour into the pan juices used as the sauce. I don't bother peeling the onion because I usually discard it - because it sits under the chicken, it gets slimy and very oily. Feel free to use peeled onion and eat it.
3. Garlic-herb-butter: Get most of the garlic-herb sludge under the skin because if it’s on the surface of the skin, the garlic burns. So minimise the garlic sludge on the skin.
4. GRAVY option:
50 g / 3 tbsp butter 
3 tbsp / 40 g flour (any white)
2 cups / 500 ml liquid from pan topped up with low sodium chicken broth
Melt butter over medium heat, add flour, stir for 1 minute. Add half the liquid while whisking. Once incorpoated and lump free, add remaining liquid. Continue cooking for 2 minutes, stirring regularly, until gravy thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. COOK TIMES: 10 minutes at 220C/450F, then 20 minutes for every 500g/1lb at 180C/350F until the internal temperature is 75C/165F or until juices run clear. This assumes the chicken was taken out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. If it’s fridge cold, add another 10 minutes to the cook time.
6. TYING DRUMSTICKS: I find it easiest to use one piece of string, wrap string around one leg, then yank the other leg closer and wrap string around that one to. Then once string is around both of them, it's much easier to handle to use the string to pull then together then wrap the string around both of them tightly so they are crossed over each other.
7. CARCASS and leftover bits/juices: Scrape it all into a pot or slow cooker, add water so water is about 2.5cm / 1" above chicken. Add 2 tsp Vegeta or chicken stock powder or 2 crumbled cubes, celery, carrot and a few garlic cloves (chunky pieces) and a few sprigs of fresh herbs like thyme/rosemary/parsley OR 1 tsp dried herbs. Simmer 1 hour  / slow cooker 6 hours, strain. Pick out/off bits of chicken to use in soup. Use as incredible broth for Chicken Noodle Soup or Chicken Rice Soup.
8. SIDES: Roast potatoes (cut, toss in olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs, roast under chicken for 40 minutes), mashed potato or cauliflower, or garlic bread. Also try Potatoes au Gratin or Easy Cheesy Potato Bake - can make ahead then reheat in oven quickly. 
Pictured on the very edge of photo in post is this Kale Quinoa Salad (I often have it on hand as it lasts for days and days). Other great salads: Corn Salad with Avocado and Tomato, Roast Pumpkin Spinach Salad, a garden salad with Italian or French Dressing.
this recipe is sponsored by Mediterranean Supermarket 
Keyword chicken recipe, roast chicken, roast dinner