A Glug of Oil

Easy and delicious recipes including midweek dinner ideas, English and world cuisine.

Perfect Roast Chicken

How to Roast a Whole Chicken

The best way to roast a chicken - read on to find out how long to roast a whole chicken.

Perect roast chicken

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To roast a whole chicken, you only need a non-stick baking dish, a little olive oil, salt and black pepper, and of course, an oven!

I like putting a couple of slices of lemon inside the chicken and a few sprigs of thyme. But of course, it isn't vital - it's just what I like to do.

So as I said all you really need is a chicken, a little olive oil, sea salt and pepper.

Half a lemon - sliced and a few sprigs of thyme are optional but the lemon helps to keep the chicken moist while cooking. The thyme is just a fancy thing, although it does smell lovely.


A non-stick roasting tray

Chicken cooking times

Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F or Gas 6 

Roast for 20 minutes per pound (450g) 

For example, a 2.25kg bird will take 1 hour 50 minutes to 2 hours in total.

Chicken ready for the oven

You might like my Butter Roast Chicken recipe.

Or how about Bag Roasted Chicken - to keep your oven clean!

Perfect roast chicken.

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe card below!

perfect roast chicken, how to roast a whole chicken, best roast chicken recipe
main, chicken, dinner
Yield: 1 whole chicken
Author: Jan Bennett
Perfect Roast Chicken

Perfect Roast Chicken

Delicious, tender and juicy chicken!
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 1 H & 30 MInactive time: 30 MinTotal time: 2 H & 5 M


  • 1 x 1.6kg whole chicken
  • mild olive oil
  • slices of lemon
  • a couple of sprigs of thyme
  • sea salt and black pepper


Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F or Gas 6
  1. Remove your chicken from its packaging and remove the giblets from the cavity if it came with them. Unless you're going to get all fancy and make the gravy with them you can discard them.
  2. *Important* Leave it to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
  3. Rub the skin all over with a little olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Put the slices of lemon inside along with the thyme.
  4. Put the chicken into a roasting dish and onto the middle shelf of your oven and cook for 45 minutes before turning the roasting dish around. Baste a couple of times during cooking and pour off any excess fat.
  5. Return to the oven for a further 45 minutes - for the final 10 minutes of cooking, increase the heat to 220°C/425°F or Gas 7 to get the skin nice, golden, and crispy.
  6. Pierce the bird in the thigh with a skewer - the juices will run clear when it's fully cooked. Once it's cooked, remove it from the oven onto a large plate and cover it with kitchen foil.
  7. It is important to leave to rest for about 30 minutes before serving. Just cover it with foil and it will stay nice and hot.
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