Roast chicken recipe

(198 ratings)

Learn how to roast chicken with our step by step video which will get you perfect results every time you do it.

Roast chicken recipe
Cooking Time1 hours 30 mins
Cost RangeCheap

Roast chicken is probably one of our favourite meals ever, and it's really easy to do with out step-by-step video. 

A whole roasted chicken makes the perfect, classic weekend lunch, especially when it's loaded up with all the trimmings. But it's an economical choice too. Buying chickens whole is the cheapest 'cut' you can purchase, and gives you so much meat you can eat straight away, as well as offcuts you can use in pies, pasta sauces and salads. You can even use the carcass to make stock afterwards - the ultimate food from what otherwise just gets tossed in the bin. Even if it's your first time roasting a chicken, you're going to find it a doddle with this simple recipe. 


  • 1.3kg chicken
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper




  1. Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6.
  2. Place the lemon and 4 sprigs thyme inside the cavity of the chicken. Rub the chicken with oil, salt and pepper and scatter remaining thyme leaves on top.
  3. Pour 150ml water into the tin.
  4. Place the chicken in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  5. After 20 minutes, turn the oven temperature down to 160C/gas 3 and continue cooking for 1 hour or until the juices run clear when pierced with a skewer.
  6. Cover chicken with foil and leave it to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Watch how to make our classic roast chicken...

Top tip for making roast chicken

The best place to put the chicken in the oven is in the middle so make sure you adjust your shelves before you preheat the oven so you can pop the chicken straight into the right spot. Make sure the chicken is breast side facing upwards, with the legs at the bottom. This is the best position for ensuring the chicken is cooked evenly.

How do I tell if my chicken is cooked?

The classic way to tell is to push a skewer or a knife into the fattest part of the thigh meat and if the juices run out clear, the chicken is cooked. If that sounds a bit to vague for you though, don't worry! Our handy step-by-step guide will show you exactly how to check is a chicken is cooked or not including how to use a meat thermometer.

How do I carve a chicken?

Not sure how to carve your chicken? We've got a whole guide for that too. Our simple step-by-step will you show you exactly how easy it really is to carve a roast chicken at home.

Should I cover the chicken in foil while it's roasting?

When it comes to roasting a chicken its best to cover it with tin foil for at least the first 30 minutes of cooking. This will help to keep the heat around the whole chicken and will help to encourage the natural juices to seep out of the chicken helping it cook all the way through.

The tin foil also helps the skin of the chicken from not burning or cooking too quickly. Take the tin foil off nearer the end of cooking so the chicken can get a nice crispy, golden skin on top.

How do I keep a roast chicken moist and succulent, and stop it drying out?

The best way to keep chicken moist is by covering with tin foil when cooking, and ensuring you do not overcook it (a meat thermometer is really useful here.) However, marinading the chicken before you cook it, and ensuring you baste it in the cooking juices as it roasts. A marinade can be as simple as rubbing seasoned butter over the skin. 

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Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow 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 GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - 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