• 110g butter at room temperature
  • 1.8kg chicken
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • A few sprigs of thyme or tarragon
  • 1 clove of garlic peeled and crushed

For the gravy

  • I tablespoon of flour
  • 250ml chicken stock


  1. Pre heat the oven to 230C
  2. Smear the butter with your hands all over the bird.
  3. Put the chicken in a roasting tin. Season liberally with salt and pepper and squeeze over lemon juice, put the herbs and garlic inside the cavity together with the squeezed out lemon halves – this will add a fragrant flavour to the chicken.
  4. Toast the chicken for 15 minutes. Baste, then turn the temperature down to 190c and roast for a further hour , occasionally basting. The chicken should be golden brown all over with a crisp skin.
  5. Carefully remove the tin from the oven and, using a pair of tongs, lift the chicken to a dish or board to rest for 15-20 mins. As you lift the dish, let any juices from the chicken pour out of the cavity into the roasting tin.
  6. While the chicken is resting, make the gravy. Place the roasting tin over a low flame, then stir in 1 tbsp flour and sizzle until you have a light brown, sandy paste.
  7. Gradually pour in 250ml chicken stock, stirring all the time, until you have a thickened sauce. Simmer for 2 mins, using a wooden spoon to stir, scraping any sticky bits from the tin.
  8. Strain the gravy into a small saucepan, then simmer and season to taste. When you carve the bird, add any extra juices to the gravy.