Try this twist on a roast chicken, or check out our easy roast chicken.


  • 1.5kg chicken
  • 2 onions
  • 1 lemon, zested and quartered
  • 750ml chicken stock
  • 2 tsp plain flour
  • to serve sprouting broccoli
  • to serve baby carrots


  • 50g butter, softened
  • ½ tbsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • chopped to make 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. If the chicken is tied, cut off the string and discard. Release the legs and wings (it won’t look as pretty but it will cook more evenly).

  • STEP 2

    Cut 1½ of the onions into thick slices and put in the bottom of a roasting tin (keep the skins on as this will add colour to the gravy). Sit the chicken on top. Put 2 of the lemon quarters in the cavity along with the remaining 1/2 onion.

  • STEP 3

    Gently ease the skin away from each breast by going in at the neck end with your hand to make two pockets (you won’t be able to separate the skin at the breastbone so don’t try as you’ll end up splitting it).

  • STEP 4

    Mash the butter with the fennel, rosemary, garlic, lemon zest and some seasoning. Push 1/2 the butter under the skin of each pocket, spreading it out to cover the rest of the breast. Your hands will be covered in butter so use any excess to rub over the legs.

  • STEP 5

    Pour 250ml of the stock into the bottom of the tray and put in the oven for 1 hour 10 minutes.

  • STEP 6

    Check the chicken and if it has reached 70C at its thickest part using a meat thermometer, or the juices run clear when pierced, take out and rest under foil for 20 minutes. Otherwise, continue cooking and checking every 10 minutes until ready.

  • STEP 7

    Put the roasting tin over a low heat and whisk in the flour. Stir until coloured a little and then add another 500ml chicken stock. Simmer for 10 minutes while the chicken rests, adding any juices from the resting plate. Strain and serve with the chicken, broccoli and carrots.


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