Lemon & Thyme butter basted roast chicken and gravy

One for the entertainer or just a hearty family meal!


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  • Serves 4
  • 115 min

1 ANCA Premium Whole Bird

50g softened butter

bunch of fresh thyme or lemon thyme, leaves picked, stalks reserved, plus extra to serve

4 garlic cloves, 1 mashed and other 3 left whole, but squashed

2 lemons, halved

2 carrots, roughly chopped

1 onion, roughly chopped

2 bay leaves

1tbsp plain flour

250ml chicken stock 

Optional - a splash of soya sauce




  1. Heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius or 392 degrees Fahreinheit.  In a small bowl, mash the butter with one third of the thyme leaves, the mashed garlic and the juice of half a lemon.  Mix everything together with some seasoning and set aside.
  2. Use your hand to loosen the chicken skin away from the breast, then push most of the butter mix into the gap.  Rub the rest of the butter all over the outside of the chicken, then stuff the cavity with the lemon halves, remaining thyme leaves and stalks and the garlic.
  3. Scatter the chopped carrot, onion and bay leaves over the base of a small roasting tin.  Sit the chicken on top, breast side up, and roast on the middle shelf for one and a half hours, basting with the buttery juices after about 40 minutes.  When the chicken is dark golden, crispy skinned and the juices run clear, remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 5 minutes.  Use a pair of tongs to pull the lemons, garlic and thyme out of the cavity and into the tin.  Lift the chicken up, letting any juices dribble into the tin, and transfer the chicken to a serving platter to rest for at least another 15 minutes.
  4. To make the gravy, squeeze the juice out of the cooked lemon halves and discard the skins.  Place the tin on a low heat, stir in flour and sizzle until light brown.  Gradually pour in the stock and cook for a few minutes.  If you prefer a darker gravy, add a splash of soya sauce into the tin.  Strain the gravy and serve with the chicken.


Nutritional information per serving:

kcal -             610

protein -        47g

carbs -         11g

fat -             42g

saturates -  15g

fibre -          2g

sugar -        6g

salt -           0.8g