Everybody loves chicken!
Roast chicken is such a universal recipe. Everyone loves roast chicken, even the vegans who collectively spend over £14 billion a year on meat substitutes such as Quorn and seitan. Whether you’re looking forward to a Sunday roast or stripping the chicken off the bones to save for your salad, there’s a meal out there for everyone. Me and my son love to have the legs on a roast dinner and then save the rest for sandwiches or wraps throughout the week. Chicken is a very versatile dish that is easily flavoured and then if necessary, re-flavoured for a completely different dish. In this recipe, I’ll show you how to season your roast chicken with fresh lemons and fresh herbs. This recipe is slow cooked under foil and then revealed to crisp up the skin for the last 45 minutes.
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This roast chicken recipe is:
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I have not provided calories or serving sizes for this recipe because every chicken will be a different size. For reference, my very small chicken weighed just under 1.2kg. We both had a leg and small amount of breast meat on a roast dinner and then cut the rest off which went on to fill two wraps. I will however provide cooking times for a 1.2kg, 1.6kg and 2kg to make your life a little easier but always rely on a meat thermometer to ensure your chicken is thoroughly cooked through.
Do you need to wash chicken?
To start with remove any packaging from your chicken and double check the weight of your chicken. Place into a deep roasting tin and remove any feathers or hairs left behind with tweezers. Nobody wants to be cleaning hairs out of their teeth!
Id like to add a little note here about washing chicken, which seems to be a common practice in America but not so much in England: DO NOT WASH YOUR CHICKEN. There is absolutely not benefit to doing it and it actually highly increases the risk of food poisoning. Please, lets spread the word.
You also need to check that any innards have been removed. This is almost always the case for chickens however if you are thinking of doing this with a turkey you may find them all neatly packaged in a bag along with the neck. Honestly, I’m still not sure why this is done, if you know, let me know in the comments! Makes a great treat for the cats though!
The lemon and herb roast chicken seasoning:
Half two lemons and cut two sprigs of thyme and two sprigs of rosemary. A “sprig” defines a larger stem of a fresh herb plant, typically 6″-8″ long with plenty of foliage. Stuff these into the cavity of the chicken…Yes, I do mean that. If your new to cooking and have never stuffed a chicken before it might seem a little strange. I promise the chicken wont feel a thing.
Pop the chicken back down with the breasts up. Cover the chicken with more rosemary and thyme leaves and some slices of lemon for decoration. Cover the chicken completely with foil and roast in an oven pre-heated to 150c for 20 minutes per 500g + 25 minutes.
Roast chicken cooking times:
- So, for a 1.2kg chicken that a total of 73 minutes cooking time.
- 1.4kg = 81 minutes
- 1.6kg = 89 minutes
- 1.8kg = 97 minutes
- 2.0kg = 105 minutes
- 2.2kg = 113 minutes
- 2.4kg = 121 minutes
Keeping the chicken moist
Covering the chicken tightly with foil keeps all of the juices in, however, doing this also means that the skin of the chicken won’t crisp up at all so we need to factor this into our cooking. 40 minutes before the end of the cooking time, remove and the foil and return the chicken to the oven to continue cooking. Now the skin will crisp up and achieve that beautiful golden brown that we all love to see.
Make sure your chicken is thoroughly cooked by checking that the juices run clear and a meat thermometer inserted into your chicken reads at least 75c. Serve with roasted potatoes, fresh steamed vegetables and gravy.
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