Wow Your Guests With A Perfect Roast Chicken

Roasting a chicken can seem like a simple affair. After all, the oven does all the work, right? But if you want a tender, flavourful bird that’s simply bursting with juices and with charred, crispy skin, there are a few additional steps that can help you nail the process like a pro every single time. Add in some roast potatoes, crunchy greens and Yorkshire pudding and you have a classic Sunday roast ready to go.

Spatchcock Your Chicken

If you’ve never done this before, don’t panic, it’s a really simple process that involves butterflying the chicken, removing the backbone and flattening it out. By doing this you can reduce the roasting time by almost half while also ensuring the meat cooks evenly and is tender. 

All you need to do is lay the chicken down and use heavy-duty scissors to cut along the backbone on each side, pull it out and press down to flatten out the bird. 

Prep Your Bird

One of the most common mistakes is roasting a chicken that comes straight out of the fridge. This will lead to uneven cooking and dry, tough meat. Make sure that even if it’s been defrosting for a while, it sits out until it comes to room temperature before you put it in the oven.

To get perfectly golden brown skin on your chicken and a nice even roast, make sure to remove as much moisture as possible before you begin. Pat down the bird with some paper towels and dry it to ensure it's evenly dry all over.

Another top tip is to put some butter under the skin. Cube up ice cold butter lift up a portion of the skin and pop in the cubes. Then you can squish it around to get as even a coating as possible so the fats soak directly into the meat. 

Roasting The Right Way

Many people like to use a cast iron skillet to roast chicken since it helps to save all the delicious pan juices for your gravy later. But whatever you do choose, ensure it's large enough so that your chicken isn’t squashed or folded over anywhere and all the extras you add have room to sit in a single layer. 

Speaking of extras, toss in some herbs, lemon, garlic or onion to help infuse the meat with even more flavour. If you can, build these elements into a small layer underneath the bird to make sure that it isn’t sitting in juices later and crisps up all the way around. 

Last but certainly not least is the seasoning. Be generous with your salt and pepper and if you need an extra touch, drizzle on some olive oil to really help the caramelisation process on the skin.

Now you have all your tips and tricks ready to go, why not try out the recipe below for a simple and delicious roast chicken?


1.5 kg Whole Chicken

2 tbsp Unsalted Butter, close to room temp

2 cloves of Garlic, very finely diced or finely grated (plus 1 bulb extra sliced in half to place underneath chicken)

1 tsp finely diced Fresh Thyme, plus a handful more sprigs to place underneath chicken

3 small Onions, quartered (to place underneath chicken)

1 small Lemon, zested then slice two thin rounds (place two rounds underneath chicken)

½  tsp Salt, plus more as needed

¼  tsp Black Pepper, plus more as needed

Olive Oil, as needed


  • Prep the chicken: Spatchcock the bird, remove the backbone, flatten it along the sternum and add in some butter underneath the skin.
  • Add onion, thyme, lemon rounds and garlic bulb halves to a skillet or rimmed baking tray. 
  • Tuck the wings under the chicken before seasoning it liberally with salt, pepper and olive oil.
  • Roast it in a preheated oven at 220℃ for 45 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and the juices run clear.