Roast chicken with lemon garlic butter

June 4, 2018
Family Verdict:


  • whole chicken - 3lb or so
    2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1  lemon zest
  • 1 juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Spare 1/2 lemon sliced into 3 slices
  1. Preheat oven to 170C Fan.
  2. In a bowl mix butter, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic cloves, dried sage, smoked paprika, salt, and ground pepper. Mix together set aside.
  3. If you are BBQing the chicken, then cut out the backbone with scissors and then press down on the breast to flatten and spatchcock it
  4. Place chicken in a roasting pan.
  5. Rub lemon garlic mixture all over chicken (be sure to put some under the skin as well).
  6. If roasting whole, Stuff the bird with 1 lemon that has been halved .
  7. Place 3-4 slices of lemon on top of the bird.
  8. If roasting whole, Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until internal temperature is 170 degrees.
  9. If BBQing, roast for 35-40 mins to get a good colour. Remove and reserve the roasting juices - you can allow to cool if you are prepping this ahead of time - when you are cooking on the BBQ, place in an area off the direct heat to thoroughly warm through and to absorb some smoky flavour and caramelisation. Baste with the juice you collected after roasting.


We all love roast chicken - it is our go-to roast of a Sunday, and it is always a crowd pleaser. Not only is the roast delicious, but (along with beef) is one of the only cold-roast meats where the leftovers are equally delicious without being put into something different (if you understand me). But modern chickens can be a bit bland - even the expensive free range organic ones can be a little free of flavour and, if you aren't careful can dry out and be a bit hard to eat as a consequence.

Nigella tackles this be recommending you shove a lemon up its bottom - and this does help. Imparting a citry edge and imparting some moisture to the cooked bird. This week I had a cheap mass produced chicken in the fridge and wanted t make sure I had a supper that did taste good and was moist, so I set about searching and found this. I cooked it and served it with the usual roast dinner accompaniments and it was fine. The chicken moist and wll flavoured with garlic and lemon. The Offspring didn't like the resulting gravy, which was too lemony and I think they are right on that - which means you end up with a roast dinner with moist meat but no gravy for your potatoes - not ideal.

So the second time I did this (yesterday) I used it as a flavouring for a chicken which I spatchcocked, pre-cooked in the oven and then finished off on the barbecue. The result was excellent - the most moist and flavourful barbecued chicken I can recall having. I also added some smoked paprika to the recipe, which I figured would compliment the smokiness from the BBQ and it did. So this becomes a BBQ resipe in its best version, but can also be used as a way to impart "quality" to a cheap chicken.

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