Make with kids: Lemon and thyme roast chicken

Lemon and thyme roast chicken
(Image credit: Future)

Get the kids involved in cooking the Sunday roast dinner. Our lemon and thyme roast chicken is an easy to make recipe which the whole family can enjoy together.

This simple step-by-step picture recipe is all about teaching your child how to prepare roast chicken and the do' and don'ts of cooking raw meat too.

Some of the stages may need adult supervision like taking the chicken in and out of the oven, but it's the perfect excuse to spend some quality time with your child in the kitchen.

The chicken will take 30 mins to prepare and 1hr and 20 mins to cook. This recipe serves 4 people and works out at 447 calories per portion.


  • 1.5kg corn-fed chicken
  • 2 level tsps poultry seasoning
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 red onion, peeled and quartered
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2tbsps olive oil
  • 450ml pressed apple juice
  • 1tbsp thickening granules

Step 1

Position a shelf low in the oven, so that there is room to fit in the chicken, and another shelf near the top to roast the potatoes. Set to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.

Put the chicken in the roasting tin, sprinkle evenly with the seasoning. Finely grate the lemon zest and put that on one side for the vegetables. Cut the lemon in half and push it inside the chicken with the onion wedges and 4 thyme sprigs. Wash your hands thoroughly.

Step 2

Drizzle the oil over the chicken. Put the remaining thyme sprigs on top. Pour the apple juice around the chicken in the tin. Put it into the hot oven and roast for about 1 hour 20 mins. (For different weight chickens allow 20 mins per 500g, plus an extra 20 mins.) After 40 mins, ask an adult to baste the chicken with the juices, to keep the meat moist.

Wearing oven gloves, carefully remove the chicken from the oven. Push a fork into the chicken leg. If the juices run clear, the chicken is cooked. If the juices are pink, the chicken needs to be cooked for a further 10 mins, and then checked again.

Step 3

When it is cooked, ask an adult to lift the chicken on to a serving dish, cover with foil and take to the table ready for carving. Get help to pour all the juices and crispy bits from the roasting tin into a small pan.

Step 4

Lemon and thyme roast chicken

(Image credit: Future)

Put the pan on a gentle heat and sprinkle in the thickening granules. Whisk well, until the juices thicken to a gravy. Ask an adult to pour the gravy into a jug, ready to serve with the chicken.

Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodTo and has over 11 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodTo, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create how-to videos exclusively for GoodtoEat - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies