Roast chicken: the ultimate recipe

Roast chicken is a staple that's easy to master and delicious to eat

roast chicken
(Image credit: Getty)

Roast chicken in the easiest Sunday roast main to make, and we say that having tried making all sorts of dishes. Unlike beef or lamb, chicken can only be served well done, which means you don't really have to keep checking on it too much. Most standard chickens take an hour and a half in the oven, et voila, your Sunday roast is ready. 

For best results, we recommend buying high-welfare free range or organic chicken. 

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How long does a chicken take to cook per kg?

You’ll need to do some simple maths. Weigh the chicken and allow 45 minutes per kg plus 20 minutes on top of that. Cook at 200°C. Unlike with some other roasts, you don’t want pink meat and the juices must run clear when you insert a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh. If you need to, put the bird back into the oven for 15 minutes then you can repeat the test. Got a meat thermometer? You’re looking for a temperature of 75°C.

Roast chicken: the ultimate recipe


To make juicy whole roast chicken, you will need:

  • A whole raw chicken, cleaned and ready for roasting
  • Butter, a generous wedge (about 25 grams)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Chicken seasoning (optional)
  • One lemon, sliced in half (optional)
  • Two large carrots, roughly chopped
  • One onion, roughly chopped


1. If using, put the halved lemon inside the chicken. 

2. Line a baking tray with the chopped vegetables. Sit the chicken on top of the vegetables. It should be snug in the tray.

3. Rub the chicken with butter all over. Season with salt and/or seasoning.

4. Roast for one hour and a half. Take out of the oven and pierce the flesh with a knife or skewer. The juices should run clear. 

5. Take out of the roasting tray and transfer into a serving dish. Rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. 

How do you make chicken skin crispy?

The final but vital must is resting the chicken for 20 minutes, but put it somewhere warm to keep the skin crispy.