Rosemary and Lemon Roast Chicken

A roast is a great way to warm house, heart and soul. And is a great meal to share with family and friends as you can always cook up loads of extra vegetables to feed any extra mouths.

Rosemary and Lemon Roast Chicken

I do like a well-seasoned, roasted chicken with lashing of gravy, and it is very easy to make gravy. That is one of the reasons I like to use an oven bag as it collects all the lovely juices from the chicken.

Here is a very quick and easy way to prepare a roast chicken, no stuffing but full of flavour!


1 whole chicken (free range)

1 onion cut into wedges

3 large sprigs of rosemary

1 lemon, cut into quarters

4 cloves garlic, cut in half

Salt and pepper

2 - 3 Tbs olive oil

Oven bag (optional)

1 Tbsp. cornflour


Check inside the chicken and remove any giblets. Give the chicken a rinse inside and out with cold water, pat dry with paper towels.

Rub the olive oil all over the chicken, including the inside. Season with salt and pepper. Place 2 sprigs of rosemary in the bag and lay the chicken on top, breast side down. Squeeze one lemon quarter over the chicken and another inside it, and put the skins inside the chicken. Put the wedges of onion, lemon and garlic inside the chicken, and any bits that don’t fit just in the bag (they’ll add flavour to the gravy). Close the bag as per instructions on the pack.

Place the chicken in an oven-dish and into the oven preheated to 180C for 25 minutes per 500g plus 20 minutes (e.g. a 1.5kg chicken will need about 70 minutes), or until the juices run clear.

By cooking in an oven bag the chicken stays wonderfully moist, even the breast, as it is cooking nicely in its own juices (and keeps the oven clean). However, this does mean that you won’t end up with a crispy skin. To crisp the skin, take the chicken out of the bag after reserving the juices in a pot for gravy and return the chicken to the oven for 10-15 minutes at 220C. Take care not to burn your lovely chicken.

To make the gravy:

Bring the cooking juices, in a pot, to the boil and season with a little salt and pepper. Mix the cornflour with a 2 – 3 Tbsp. water (or white wine), pour into the gravy while stirring. You can add more cornflour, depending on how much gravy you are making and how thick you like it.