Classic Roast Chicken

This recipe works in combination with: Apple Crumble & Custard, Red Onion, Mushroom & Goat's Cheese Tart. This recipe features in these meal plans: Sunday Roast.

A whole chicken rubbed with thyme butter, layered with streaky bacon and roasted with potatoes and a mix of vegetables.


  • half a 30g pack of fresh thyme
  • 100g of butter, at room temperature
  • 3 medium parsnips (approx 285g each), peeled and cut into 1.5cm slices
  • 5 medium baking potatoes (approx 320g each), peeled and cut into 4
  • 1 large whole chicken (2300-2500g)
  • 1 savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 3 large carrots (approx 185g each), peeled and cut into 1.5cm slices
  • 250g of smoked streaky bacon
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • gravy granules to make 500ml gravy
  • Serves: 6
  • Course: Main Course
  • Preparation time: 20 mins
  • Cooking time: 120 mins
  • Oven temp: 200c
  • Price per person: £2.41
  • Store cupboard: Basic
  • Calories per serving: 2012
  • 5-a-day per serving: 2.7
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Classic Roast Chicken photo

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  1. Preheat the oven. Season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper and insert half of the thyme (quarter of a pack). Pick the leaves from the stem of the remaining thyme (quarter of a pack) and mix with 50g butter and a generous pinch of pepper. Place the chicken into a large, deep sided roasting tray (make sure it's big enough for the chicken and the parsnips and carrots). Rub the herb butter all over the skin of the chicken and carefully lay the bacon rashers across the breasts, overlapping slightly.
  2. Cover the roasting tray with foil and roast in the oven for 60 minutes, basting the meat every 15 minutes.
  3. Once the chicken has been in the oven for 55 minutes, parboil the potatoes in a pan of lightly salted boiling water for 5 minutes, to soften up the surfaces. Meanwhile, put the oil and 50g butter into a roasting tray and preheat in the oven until just beginning to smoke.
  4. Drain the potatoes thoroughly and place them back into the pan. Using oven-gloves or an oven cloth, hold the pan and lid tightly and shake up and down to make the edges of the potatoes floury and fluffy. Carefully transfer to the pre-heated baking tray and stir to combine with the hot butter and oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven with the chicken for 20 minutes.
  5. Once the 20 minutes is up, remove the foil from the chicken and arrange the carrots, parsnips and garlic cloves around the chicken. Roast for a further 40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are tender and crispy. Insert a skewer or the blade of a small, sharp knife into the chicken thigh to ensure it is cooked - the juices that run out should be clear.
  6. Remove the chicken, vegetables and potatoes from the oven, cover with foil and set aside to rest for 15 minutes in a warm place.
  7. Meanwhile, cook the cabbage in a pan of lightly salted boiling water for 6 minutes, or until tender. While the cabbage is cooking, prepare the gravy according to the packet instructions.
  8. Drain the cabbage, reserving a little of the cooking water, season with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving dish. Remove the chicken and roasted vegetables from the roasting tray and carefully pour the fat away from the tray, leaving the sticky bits on the base. Transfer to the hob over a medium heat, add the prepared gravy and scrape up the sticky bits from the base. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add a little of the cabbage cooking water if the gravy becomes too thick.
  9. Carve the chicken and serve immediately with the bacon, roasted vegetables, cabbage and gravy.

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