Garlic Roast Chicken With Lemon & Thyme Recipe

4 Mar

Give your Sunday a bit of an edge with this fantastic roast chicken recipe – the flavours of the lemon, garlic and thyme are amazing but don’t overpower the chicken. Wrapping the dish in foil is a bit fiddly but well worth it -the wine and juices are sealed in whilst cooking which practically steams the bird, keeping it tender and juicy. It may sound like a lot of garlic, but with the roasting time the cloves become delicate and sweet – delicious served up to be squished and eaten with the meat.

Garlic Roast Chicken With Lemon & Thyme

Serves: 6-8

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1.5- 2 hours

Nutritional information, average per serving (est.)

Calories:585.7 kcal
Protein: 53.4 g
Carbohydrate: 38.7 g
Fat: 38.7 g
Fibre: 0.3 g


  • 1 whole chicken, approx 2kg – at least free-range, preferably also organic
  • 2 whole lemons
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 garlic bulbs (20-25 cloves)
  • 250ml dry white wine, eg sauvignon blanc
  • 2 large onions
  • Glug of olive oil
  • Pinch of Maldon sea salt
  • Pinch of fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch), for the gravy

You will also need a large roasting dish and enough wide aluminium foil (aka tinfoil) to double wrap it.

Note: Cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken – allow 45 minutes per kilogram. To ensure the meat is cooked, push a roasting fork into the thigh to see if the juices run clear. The temperature of the leg meat should be at least 80ºC.

Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC. Pat the chicken with paper towel until dry and then drizzle with a glug of olive oil. Using your hands (wash them first!), massage the oil all over the chicken until coated. Sprinkle with the sea salt and black pepper and pat down so it sticks. Don’t forget to wash your hands again.

Take the garlic bulbs and place them under a large knife, pressing down until the cloves are separated – don’t worry about the skin. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and add the chicken and garlic cloves. Brown the chicken on the top, bottom and sides until golden. This should take about 10-15 minutes.

Cut the onions in half and position in a large roasting dish. Place the chicken on top. Cut the lemons into quarters and stuff inside the cavity of the chicken. If they don’t all fit, just place them in the dish with the chicken. Try and squeeze a few of the garlic cloves inside with the lemons, scattering the rest around the chicken in the dish. Pour the glass of wine over the chicken, then shake the thyme sprigs over the chicken to sprinkle it with some leaves. Stuff a few of the leaves in the cavity so they stick out a bit then toss the rest around the chicken.

Now take a length of the foil and unroll onto the counter, enough to wrap around the roasting dish. Place the roasting dish on top in the middle and bring the two ends of the foil together above the turkey. Fold one end over the over, then again, to create a seal. Take each open side and fold it over itself twice to seal the sides. Take another length of foil and repeat, but rotating the dish 90 degrees. This will seal the chicken in with the wine and juices to steam it.

Place the foil sealed roasting dish in the preheated oven for 1.5 hours. 15 minutes before the end, remove the foil and baste with the juices from the pan. Return to the over to allow the skin to crisp up. Check the meat is cooked, then remove from the oven and allow it to rest for another 15-20 minutes before carving and serving.

To make the gravy, strain the juices from the roasting dish into a jug and skim the fat off the top. Pour into a small pan and bring to the boil. Mix the cornflour with a little of the liquid to make a paste, removing all lumps, then add to the gravy. Stir until it starts to thicken.

We bought our organic chicken from Furness Fish, Poultry & Game Supplies at Borough Market for £3.80/kg.

Made this recipe? Let us know what you thought!


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