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.