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How to Make Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken with Lemon and Thyme

There is something so comforting about the distinct aroma of a chicken roasting in the oven. It evokes memories of home, family, friends, fun, fighting over the last chicken leg. Roast chicken is a crowd-pleaser. It is easy to make, it is enjoyed by so many. It’s the meat that brings people together. It’s flavourful enough to enjoy, but not too strong to harbour aversions. Roast chicken is probably the fail-safe roast dinner option.

And the great thing about roast chicken is its versatility. You can simple pop it in the oven exactly as it is and it will still taste good two hours later. Or you can season and flavour it all kinds of ways. There is the light and breezy Mediterranean style of herbs and citruses. Or you can spice it up Indian, Mexican, or Jamaican style. Slosh a bit of soy sauce on the skin for colour and saltiness. Or smother it in butter and salt and call it a day.

Roast Chicken can be adapted in all kinds of ways that you are sure to find a favourite in your household.

Roast Chicken In a Pan
Roast Chicken In a Pan

Today we want to share with you one of our favourite roast chicken versions, and that is Roast Chicken with Lemon and Thyme. This simple 6-ingredient recipe results in crispy chicken skin, succulent meat, and loads of citrusy, herby, buttery flavour.

This is actually a recipe we make all year round. It’s divine. We have it with heaps of fresh salad, or rice pilaf, or spring greens in the summer. In the winter we pile on the roast potatoes, stuffing, and vegetables.

Roast Chicken Recipe
Roast Chicken Recipe

What do you use to cook Crispy Roast Chicken with Lemon and Thyme?

This easy baked chicken recipe needs just 6 ingredients. We use softened butter to help get the skin beautifully crispy and keep the meat nice and moist. The garlic cloves add delicate savouriness. Using fresh thyme brings a lovely woody herb flavour. This works perfectly well with the acidity and zest of the lemon. Finally, using Maldon sea salt flakes adds the necessary saltiness to uplift all of the flavours, plus it helps make the skin crispy.

Roast Chicken with Lemon and Thyme
Roast Chicken with Lemon and Thyme

What is the best roast chicken temperature?

The ideal temperature to roast chicken in the oven is 200C in a normal oven, 180C in a fan-assisted oven, or Gas Mark 6.

What are roast chicken cooking times?

To calculate the cooking time for roast chicken allow 45 minutes per kilogram plus 20 minutes. Always check the chicken is cooked properly by piercing the thickest part of the meat, the leg, and checking the juices run clear. If there is any red return to the oven to cook for longer.

Roast Chicken
Roast Chicken

What do you serve with roast chicken?

Roast Chicken with vegetables is probably the most popular ways to eat chicken. Serve this crispy baked lemon chicken with spicy potato wedges and roasted broccoli. Or with simply with our braised leeks in white wine sauce.

I’ve seen a Jamie Oliver Lemon and Rosemary Roast Chicken where he cooks the potatoes in the same pan which would also work with this recipe as well.

Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken Recipe
Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken Recipe

What variations of roast chicken can you make?

Other popular variations of roast chicken include lemon with other herbs such as rosemary, garlic butter, honey and mustard, paprika and maple syrup, sage and cumin, saffron butter, tandoori spiced, rosemary and balsamic, Moroccan with apricots… there’s so many ways to get creative with roast chicken!

Roast Lemon and Thyme Chicken
Roast Lemon and Thyme Chicken

Does this meet any specialist dietary requirements?

If you need to make this recipe dairy-free you can substitute the butter for olive oil.

Best Roast Chicken
Best Roast Chicken



  • Large Chicken, approx. 2KG
  • 50g Butter, softened
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • Handful Fresh Thyme, leaves stripped off the stems
  • Pinch of Sea Salt Flakes
  • 1 Lemon, half juiced and the other half left whole


  1. Take the chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes beforehand to bring up to room temperature.
  2. Mix together in a small bowl the softened butter, garlic, lemon juice, thyme leaves, and salt.
  3. Rub half underneath the skin of the chicken and the rest all over the outside of the chicken.
  4. Place a halved lemon in the cavity of the chicken along with a few more sprigs of thyme.
  5. Roast the chicken in an oven preheated to 180C (350F) allowing 45 minutes per kilo plus another 20 minutes.
  6. Baste the chicken at least 3 times during the roasting time. Remove once cooked, cover with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Lemon and Thyme Chicken
Lemon and Thyme Chicken

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