The Perfect Roast Chicken

roasted chicken with lemon and white wine on cutting board


The perfect roasted chicken is a thing of beauty but very difficult to come by.  Up until 5 years ago, I avoided anything roasted, always fearful of the dry, squeaky meat. Then I started experimenting and researching just how to get the perfect roast and thankfully I’ve never looked back.

Now roast chicken is a weekly tradition in our home and a favorite by all. Here’s how you get a perfect roast chicken each and every time.


Get a good bird

Factory farming is all about quantity (pumping out the product to sell) and less about quality. As a result, free-range birds always taste better. So if you can afford it, buy organic free-range birds.


Roast chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans with gravy


Take the time to brine

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, BRINE YOUR POULTRY. Brining adds the flavors of whatever seasonings you soaked it in and also helps to keep the meat moist and juicy. Ergo, chicken brined in herbs and spices is always the way to go.


Roast chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans with gravy


Bring the chicken to room temperature before roasting

For even cooking, make sure to bring the bird to room temperature before roasting it. What does this mean?  Simple, take it out from the cold brine an hour or two before roasting or until the chicken is at room temperature.


carved roasted poultry on plate with gravy and lemon wedges


Flip your roast chicken

This is an experiment that you don’t necessarily have to do. For the first 45 minutes of roasting, I cook the chicken upright then carefully flip it upside down for the remaining time.

This helps the juices to drip down onto the breast keeping that white meat nice and juicy.  An added bonus to doing this is that it browns the underside of the chicken.

So if you are like me and hate flabby chicken skin, try this out.  For crispy skin all over, cook the chicken upright over a bundt cake pan.  Just make sure to adequately cover the center hole with aluminum foil to prevent the dripping from leaking down into the oven.



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A plate of carved roast chicken with gravy and lemon wedges

Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Roast Chicken

  • Author: Spicepaw
  • Total Time: 90
  • Yield: Serves 3-4 1x


This roast chicken brined in garlic, lemon and herbs is the most succulent and juiciest roast chicken around. Perfect your roast with these tips and tricks. #chicken ##easymeals #familydinners #poultry #roast



100g (about 1/2 cup) salt

100g (about 1/2 cup) sugar

a small handful of fresh thyme (about 10g)

a small handful of fresh rosemary (about 10g)

1 head of garlic (with cloves smashed)

1 lemon (juiced and zested)

1 tbsp black peppercorns

3 Liters (12.5 cups) of water


1 whole chicken (preferably organic)

23 tbsp of melted butter

Lemon Gravy

2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice

the juice leftover from the roasting pan

2 egg yolks


  1. Combine salt, sugar, thyme, rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, pepper and 1 liter of water in a large pot.
  2. Bring to a boil and let boil for 5-10 minutes in order to infuse all the ingredients into the brine.
  3. Take off heat and let cool.
  4. Once cool, add 2 liters of water and mix together.    The brine should taste like salty soup (salty but edible).  If you think it is too salty, add a little water to dilute.  Add the whole chicken and brine overnight or up to 2 days.  The longer it sits, the saltier it’ll become so don’t let it sit for too long.
  1. Brine the chicken in a large pot overnight.
  2. An hour or so before roasting, remove chicken and remove any debris sticking to the bird. Let warm to room temperature.
  3. Place in a large baking tray and brush with butter.
  4. Cook in the oven at 220C/450F for 90 minutes or until internal temperature has reached 165F/75C, making sure to baste as you go.  (If you are cooking upside down and flipping it, see above instructions)
  5. When finished roasting, remove chicken carefully to a serving plate and let rest for 15 minutes.  You can cover it in foil in order to avoid letting it lose too much heat.
  6. For the sauce, strain the roasting juices with a sieve (or skip this step I’d you are like me and don’t mind a more ‘textured’ gravy)
  7. Add to a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat.  The mixture should be hot but not bubbling.  Remove from heat and let rest for a minute or two.
  8. Whisk together 2 egg yolks with 2 tbsp of fresh lemon.  Slowly add roasting juices to egg yolk/lemon juice mixture a little at a time, whisking as you go so as not to curdle.  If the sauce is a little thin, slowly heat on low flame and whisk until it becomes a thicker gravy.
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 90
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: Western

Keywords: Roast, Chicken, poultry, easy meals, thyme, rosemary, lemon, brine

Finger-licking good chicken recipes:

Crispy chicken thighs stuffed with apple and bacon

Paprika, Thyme and Yogurt-Marinated Spatchcock Chicken

Ginger and Garlic Brined Spicy Fried Chicken

Saucy Oven-Baked Kung Pao Chicken Wings


Author: Natasha

I'm just a busy expat mom who has a psychological need to feed people. I enjoy learning about new cultures, (especially the food) and enjoy experimenting with new ingredients and spices

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