Rosemary Shrager’s roast chicken recipe

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serves: 4
Skill: medium
Prep: 30 min
Cooking: 1 hr 15 min
Plus 15 minutes resting time
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  • Everyone loves a roast chicken dinner and now with Rosemary Shrager’s step-by-step recipe, it’s easier than ever – follow this how to guide to make the perfect roast chicken dinner you and the kids will love.

    And why not give our classic bubble and squeak recipe a go for the perfect, filling, nutritious side dish!


    • 1 free-range or organic chicken, weighing about 1.75kg
    • 6 sprigs of thyme
    • 1 lemon, sliced into 8
    • 60g softened unsalted butter
    • 1 onion, roughly chopped
    • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
    • 1 leek, roughly chopped
    • Sea salt and black pepper
    • For the gravy:
    • 1 tsp plain flour
    • 200ml white wine
    • 350ml chicken stock


    • Take the chicken out of the fridge a good hour before cooking. Remove any string from the bird and take the bag of giblets, if there is one, out of the cavity.

    • Season inside the cavity with salt and pepper and then put the thyme sprigs and half the lemon slices inside the cavity.

    • Smear the butter all over the bird and season with salt and pepper.

    • Put the vegetables and the remaining lemon slices into a heavy-based roasting tin in which the chicken will just fit. Season with salt and pepper and put the chicken on top breast-side down, so the juices will fall through the vegetables as it cooks.

    • Place the chicken in an oven preheated to 200°C/Gas Mark 6 and roast for 30 minutes.

    • Turn the chicken over and sprinkle some sea salt over it. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/Gas Mark 4, and return the tin to the oven. Roast for a further 45 minutes, basting the bird once or twice with the fat in the roasting tin.

    • To test the chicken for doneness, take hold of a leg and it should wobble. You can also insert a knife in the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone if the juices run clear the chicken is done.

    • Put the chicken on to a warmed platter and leave to rest for at least 15 minutes while you make the gravy.

    • Discard the vegetables from the tin and pour off most of the fat, leaving the chicken residue behind. Put the roasting tin on the hob over a low heat, sprinkle in the flour and mix well. Pour in the white wine.

    • Bring to a simmer, stirring and scraping the base of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze it. When the wine has reduced in volume by about half, gradually stir in the chicken stock and bring back to the boil.

    • Simmer until the gravy has reduced enough to give a good flavour, taste it to check. Season to taste and strain into a small jug. Serve straight away.

    Top tip for making Rosemary Shrager’s roast chicken

    If you want to make your own chicken stock, we've got a great recipe here

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