MAKE THE MOST ROAST OF YOUR
Classic roast chicken,
Serves 6 Prep 15 mins Cook 1 hr 35 mins 20g butter, softened 1 whole chicken, approx. 2kg 1 lemon 1 garlic clove, sliced lengthways 2 sprigs of fresh thyme gravy and your choice of vegetables, to serve
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Rub the butter over the whole chicken, being careful not to break the skin. Wash and roughly zest half of the lemon, and rub the zest into the skin. Rub the cut sides of the garlic halves over the skin too. Set the garlic aside; do not discard it. Lay the chicken in a roasting pan, breast down to start with, so you start with the flat side (its back) facing up.
2 Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice of half the lemon over the top of the chicken. Don’t throw the squeezed lemon half away – add it to the roasting pan. Sprinkle a big pinch of salt and black pepper over the top. Put the other half of the lemon inside the chicken, along with the sprigs of thyme and reserved pieces of garlic.
3 Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for 45 mins. After this time, turn it over in the dish so it is breast-side up. Sprinkle salt and black pepper on the top and return to the oven for another 45 mins. Press a fork into the thickest part of the leg. If the juices are still pink, it needs to be cooked for longer – return to the oven for another 10 mins and check again. Serve with gravy and vegetables, if you like.