Roast chicken

My perfect roast chicken 🐓
Sunday Roasts are among my favourite meals to cook.
For me the MOST important part is the gravy that ties it all together.
There is a fine line between crispy skin and moist meat, so with this recipe it’s the bacon that goes crispy and the meat is tender and juicy ... I’m happy with that combination.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Resting Time 30 mins
Course Main Course


  • Large Chicken 2.3 - 2.6kg
  • 2 ounces butter 50 g at room temperature
  • 8-10 rashes traditionally cured smoked streaky bacon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 onions
  • Fresh thyme
  • Leek tops if you are using leeks for your side dish
  • Any spare carrot ends
  • Garlic bulb halved
  • Olive oil
  • White wine
  • Flour
  • Good chicken stock


  • Pre-heat the oven to 190°C
  • Take off the wings if you like by cutting them with a sharp knife through the joint, this isn’t necessary - but I do it for neatness and add them to the gravy tray underneath same with the ends of the legs.
  • Trim off any loose skin and stuff the chicken with half a lemon a few sprigs of thyme and half an onion.
  • In a large roasting tray add the chopped leek ends , Onions, garlic, thyme sprigs, carrots , lemons and any spare veggie bits as per the picture.
  • Gently push the butter under the skin of the breast and press so it’s evenly distributed and this will make the meat succulent as it cooks. Grind pepper over them skin but salt will come from the bacon.
  • You can tie the legs up again if you want to help with an even cook, but don’t worry if not.
  • Lattice the bacon strips by laying half the strips vertical and then weaving the others in and out, I like this bit it’s quite fun.
  • Then lovingly drape this over your chicken and tuck it round so you get the breast and the legs.


  • Placed the chicken in the oven on the centre shelf and cook for 20 minutes per 450 g +10 to 20 minutes extra, this will be one hour and 1:45 hours for a 2.5 kg bird or two hours 10 minutes for a 2.6 kg bird.
  • Based the chicken 2 to 3 times during the cooking by spooning over the juice and fat from the bottom of the tray. The vegetables beneath the chicken should roast gently but not burn.
  • About half an hour before the chicken is cooked take the crisps bacon slices off the chicken and keep them warm if they’re not fully crisp you can place them around the chicken to finish off.
  • For the final 15 minutes of cooking increase the temperature to 220°C which should hopefully make the skin golden.
  • The chicken is cooked if the juices run clear when the thickest part of the leg is pierced with a skewer.

THE RESTING - the key to juicy meat !

  • It’s very important to let the chicken rest in a warm place near the oven perhaps, loosely over with foil so the steam can escape but it stays warm - I suggest 20-30 minutes while you do the gravy


  • So now all the veg in the tray and the chicken wings should be lovely and soft take a potato masher and squash all the vegetables and this is what we call the gubbins!
  • Over a gentle heat on the hob add good glug of white wine if you wish to the vegetables let this reduce for a couple of minutes. . Mix a few spoons of cornflour with water and add this to the tray, mix well and add in around 500ml of chicken stock, let it bubble away and the flavour will intensify.
  • Pass it all through a sieve into a sauce pan and you will have a beautiful gravy base.
  • Adjust the flavour with seasoning, maybe dollop of apple sauce for sweetness, gravy browning if the colour is too pale. You can thicken with more corn flour mix or dilute with stock.
  • Carve the chicken and break up the crispy bacon so everyone gets a bit of each, serve with your favourite side dishes.


  • Roast potatoes, stuffing balls, buttered leeks, orange infused carrots, Yorkshire pudding (just because every roast should have one) !
Keyword chicken, roast