Lemon Roast Chicken


1 whole chicken1tbsp sea salt
Juice of 1 lemon
6 bay leaves
4 sprigs of thyme
4 lemons, quartered lengthwise, plus 3 lemons halved
Lemon Butter
Grated zest of 4 lemons
1 clove garlic, crushed
4tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 shallots, chopped
6tbsp unsalted butter, softened


  • Combine salt and lemon juice in bowl. Loosen the skin of the chicken from the flesh and rub the juice under the skin and in the cavity of the chicken. To loosen the skin away from the breast, gently ease your hand or a fork handle under the skin of the chicken and move back and forth. Take care not to tear the skin.
  • Place the chicken in a large dish and cover with cling film. Chill for at least 4 hrs, occasionally spooning any juices back over the chicken.
  • To make the lemon butter, mix the grated lemons zest, garlic, parsley, shallots and softened butter in a small bowl.
  • Preheat oven to 220°C / 425°F / gas 7.
  • Rinse all the salt off the chicken with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Rub two-thirds of the lemon butter mixture under the skin; rub the rest on the outside. Stuff the cavity with the bay leaves, thyme and 1 quartered lemon.
  • Place chicken in a large roasting pan, breast side up and cook for 40 mins.
  • Remove chicken from the oven and baste well. Halve the remaining lemons and add to the tin, cut side down. Cover the chicken with foil.
  • Reduce heat to 190°C / 375°F / gas 5 and cook chicken for a further 40 – 50 mins, basting occasionally, until the skin is crisp and golden. To check that the chicken is cooked, pierce the thigh and the juices should run clear. If not, cook further.
  • Serve surrounded by the caramelised lemon halves.
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