Simple Roast chicken

Make everyone's Sunday favourite - a succulent roast with all the traditional trimmings
Simple Roast chicken
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-5
  • Cook Time: plus 15 minutes resting time
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 chicken, approximately 1.6kg
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Tips and Suggestions

There are a few rules when roasting a chicken: Choose a good free-range, preferably organic, bird, dont overcook it and let it rest for 15 minutes or so after roasting before carving or jointing.

For a heavier bird, add an extra 34 minutes to the cooking time for every additional 100g.

To cook your chicken with herb butter: Roughly chop a handful of thyme, tarragon or oregano, or the leaves from 3 rosemary stems with 6 sage leaves - or any mix of woody herbs you fancy. Crush or finely chop 4 garlic cloves and mix with 80g soft butter and season with salt and pepper. Work your fingers under the skin of the chicken from the neck end, freeing it from the flesh, then smear the herb butter all over the breast under the skin before roasting the chicken as above.


1. Take the chicken out of the fridge about an hour before cooking to bring it to room temperature, if necessary. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5.

2. Smear the skin of the chicken with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Put the chicken in a roasting tray and place in the centre of the oven. Roast for 20 minutes, then lower the oven setting to 170C/150C fan/gas 3 and roast for another 40 minutes. It should be nicely golden.

3. To check that the bird is cooked, insert a skewer or knife into the thickest part, where the leg joins the body the juices should run clear. If they are at all pink, roast the chicken for a further 10 minutes and check again.

4. When your chicken is cooked, turn off the heat, open the oven door and leave the bird to rest for 15 minutes. Joint or carve and serve with gravy and vegetables of your choice.

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