A buttery rub and fragrant stuffing is all you need to roast your chicken to crispy, succulent perfection. Tying the legs together gives a wonderful visual finish that also helps to retain moisture and flavour, making a simple roast recipe into a show-stopper.
- Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C. Choose a roasting tin with a rack and line with foil (see tip below).
- Rub the butter over the chicken. Sprinkle a few thyme leaves on top and put the remaining sprigs inside the cavity with the garlic and lemon. Tie the legs together with string (see tip below) and season.
- Roast for 1 hour and 35 minutes, until no pink meat is showing. To check it's cooked through, pierce the thigh with a skewer - the juices should run clear. Remove and leave to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Save the carcass for stock.
No roasting tin with a rack? Cook on thinly sliced onions or potatoes to crisp up the underside.
To help retain moisture and flavour, and to give a neat finish, tie the legs together, hold cotton kitchen string under the legs and tailbone, pull up and cross the ends over to bring the legs together. Wind around a few times and tie a knot.
To make the roast dairy-free, simply swap the butter for 1 tbsp olive oil.
See more Sunday roast recipes
For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home and view the full Food safety at home video.