Perfect roast chicken

Perfect roast chicken

If you only ever try one roast chicken recipe, let it be this one. Waitrose Duchy Organic chicken is so juicy and full of flavour, it's best to keep it simple – just roast with plenty of garlic, bay leaves, onion and sliced lemon.

4.5 out of 5 stars(7) Rate this recipe
  • Serves4
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare10 mins
  • Cook1 hr 50 mins
  • Total time2 hrs
  • Plusresting

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  • kg Waitrose Duchy Organic Free Range Whole Chicken
  • 2 small Waitrose Duchy Organic onions, cut into wedges
  • 2 garlic bulbs, halved horizontally
  • 1 lemon, ½ finely sliced
  • ½ x 20g pack fresh thyme
  • 1 pack fresh bay leaves


  1. Preheat the oven to 220˚C, gas mark 7. Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before roasting. Put the onions, garlic, sliced lemon, 2 sprigs thyme and half the bay leaves in a small roasting tin that fits the chicken snugly; season. Put the remaining thyme and bay leaves and ½ lemon in the cavity of the chicken. Sit it on top of the onions, breastside down, and season. Roast for 30 minutes.

  2. Turn down the oven temperature to 200˚C, gas mark 6. Lift the chicken out of the tin; let any juices run into the onions. Stir and sit the chicken back on top, breast-side up; season. Push the onions under so they don’t burn. Roast for 20 minutes, then lift the chicken and stir the onions again. Roast for 20-25 minutes more until cooked through and no pink meat remains. Insert a small, sharp knife into the thigh, close to the bone; the juices should run clear. Transfer to a plate; cover loosely with foil to rest. Roast the onions for another 20-30 minutes.

  3. Put the onions on the hob; add 200ml water (or stock) plus any juices from the chicken. Simmer over a high heat, scraping up any caramelised bits, until thickened slightly. Carve the chicken, adding any extra juices to the gravy before serving.

Cook’s tip

On episode 4, season 4 of Dish, the Waitrose podcast, Angela roasts the chicken without the onions and covers the skin with butter. She covers it with foil to steam the chicken. For the last 20 mins of cooking she removes the foil and adds a slice of bread underneath the chicken which soaks up all the juices and tastes delicious. Angela makes the ultimate sandwich with the chicken served on white bloomer bread with lettuce, tomato, pickles, cucumber and mayonnaise. She serves it with ready salted crisps.

And to drink...

Picpoul De Pinet Les Canots, a refreshing dry white with lovely citrusy aromas on the nose, combined with well-balanced acidity and a zesty finish

Eccelsa Vermentino, a fresh and crisp white from Sardinia 


    Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


    1,612kJ/ 386kcals



    Saturated Fat












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