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    Chicken Roasted with Garlic Butter

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    Chicken Roasted with Garlic Butter

    A protective coating of garlicky butter between skin and breast keeps the meat delightfully moist.

    • Preparation time: 10 minutes
    • Cooking time: 1¼ hours, plus resting
    • Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes 60 minutes 45 minutes

    Serves: 4 - 6


    • 1 x 2kg chicken
    • Sea Salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 unwaxed lemon
    • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 75g unsalted butter, softened
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley and tarragon


    1. Preheat the oven to 220C, gas mark 7.
    2. Wipe the chicken inside and out. Season the cavity with salt and pepper. Soften the lemon by rolling it on a hard, flat surface, then prick it all over with a fork. Tuck the lemon and the thyme into the cavity of the bird.
    3. Mash 50g of the butter with the garlic and herbs and ½ tsp each of salt and pepper. Starting at the neck end of the chicken, work your fingers down one side of the breast between the flesh and skin. Be gentle: the skin is fragile. Repeat down the other side. With your fingertips, push half the garlic butter down under the skin on one side of the breast. Repeat on the other side. Press from outside to even out the butter, patting the skin back into place. Spread the remaining butter over the chicken, and season.
    4. Put the bird on its side on a rack in a roasting tin. Roast for 20 minutes. Turn carefully, and roast on the other side for another 20 minutes.
    5. It should be deeply bronzed all over. Reduce the oven to 170C, gas mark 3, turn the bird breast-side up, and roast for another 20 minutes. Now turn it breast-side down, angling the bird so that its tail is in the air, and roast for 15 minutes more, until the juices from the thigh run clear when you push in a skewer.
    6. Put the bird on a warm serving dish, still with its tail in the air. Cover with foil. Rest it in the oven (turned off and door ajar), for at least 10-20 minutes. Carve and serve with plain salad leaves to mop up the garlicky juices.

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