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Healthy roast chicken recipe

Healthy roast chicken recipe

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  • Meat and poultry
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  • Whole roast chicken

Gorgeous roast chicken and vegetables with all the taste but healthier!

132 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 1 lemon
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, chopped
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, chopped
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (2kg/4 lb) whole chicken
  • 300g (11 oz) new potatoes
  • 1/2 butternut squash or same amount of carrots and parsnips
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 250ml (8 fl oz) white wine

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:1hr10min ›Ready in:1hr20min

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees C (Gas Mark 7).
  2. Finely grate lemon zest into a bowl and add the rosemary and 2 cloves of the garlic, salt, pepper and teaspoon of olive oil; mix. Rub mixture under the chicken skin. Cut the lemon in half and pop inside chicken cavity. If you want you can brush olive oil or butter onto the chicken skin with some salt but this isn't nearly as healthy.
  3. Roast for 20 minutes then turn the oven down to 190 degrees C (Gas 5). Roast for another 50 minutes. (Remember to follow the 20 minutes per pound of chicken plus 20 minutes)
  4. Place the new potatoes and vegetables, sliced onion and garlic cloves into a roasting tray. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with olive oil. Roast for an hour.
  5. The vegetables and chicken should be covered and left to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  6. Pour the the meat juices from the roasting tray into a small saucepan. Add the wine, stirring quickly. Use as gravy to serve. Remove the skin if you want to reduce the fat and calories!

Watch how!

Watch our video to see how to make a perfectly roasted chicken every time. Watch now!

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(4)

Reviews in English (4)

This makes a lovely simple roast chicken dinner. everyone loved it, and it was moist. We removed the skin after roasting as we usually do to make it healthier.-11 Dec 2012

this recipe was so simple to make and tasted absolutely gorgeous , didn't need to change a thing-09 Dec 2013

Fab!!A chicken dinner with a twist - did roast potatoes with red onion & black olives & loads of steamed veg. The gravy was gorgeous ( I added stock to make it go further.)-13 Aug 2015

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as sage, rosemary and/or thyme, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 (4 to 5 pound) whole chicken
  • 1 small lemon, halved crosswise
  • 1 medium head garlic, halved crosswise
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 3 stalks celery, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced

Position rack in the bottom third of oven preheat to 375 degrees F.

Combine butter, 1 tablespoon herbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl. Remove giblets from chicken and reserve for another use. Loosen and lift the skin from the breast with your fingers and spread the butter mixture under it, starting at the neck end. Place lemon and garlic in the cavity. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Place carrots, celery and onion in a large broiler-safe pot. Place the chicken breast-side up on the vegetables and put the lid on.

Roast the chicken for 1 hour. Increase oven temperature to broil. Uncover and broil until golden brown and a thermometer inserted in a thigh without touching bone registers 165 degrees F, 6 to 10 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and let stand for 15 minutes before carving. Serve sprinkled with the remaining 1 tablespoon herbs and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Our Best Healthy Baked Chicken Recipes

Weeknight chicken dinners need an upgrade? We’re here to help. With healthy recipes for everything from chicken and rice to cheese-topped chicken Parmesan you’re sure to find something your family will love.

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Chicken Baked in Cornflake Crumbs

Trisha's easy weeknight baked chicken recipe is equal parts juicy, crisp and spicy. Dip assorted chicken pieces into a low-fat mixture of buttermilk and hot sauce, then roll the chicken in crushed cornflakes before baking until golden brown.

How Long to Bake Chicken Breasts?

For most juicy chicken breasts, it is important to bake them at 450 degrees F and uncovered. Also thickness of chicken breasts and your individual oven will dictate cooking time. Below are general guidelines:

  • Under 2 inches thick breasts: Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Over 2 inches thick breasts: Bake for 30-35 minutes. Covering chicken breast during baking will result in “boiled” like chicken.

Pro Tip: Ovens do really vary based on age, manufacturer and type. Also convection oven method will cook chicken about 3-5 minutes faster, so adjust time accordingly. Newer ovens come as convection only ovens, so check your manual or settings.

  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 300g carrots, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 2 large parsnips, approx. 250g and cut into 3cm wedges
  • 750g potatoes e.g. King Edwards, cut into wedges
  • 1tbsp thyme leaves
  • 1tbsp honey
  • 2tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Preheat the oven to 200ºC (gas mark 6).

Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken for 2 mins on each side. Transfer to a large roasting tin with all the vegetables and stir in the thyme, honey and Worcestershire sauce.

Bake for 30 mins then drain most of the excess juice and reserve. Bake for a further 10 mins before serving with the reserved juice as gravy.

How to make the BEST roast chicken (cont’d)

I like to stuff the chicken with a wedges of lemon and a couple of sprigs of rosemary. Not so much for the flavour, because in truth, you can just barely taste it. It’s more for the perfume you get when you cut into the chicken so it seems like you can taste it.

And this is the reason why I do not put garlic inside oven roasted chicken. There’s no point – it doesn’t get hot enough to make any difference to flavour and just steams.

Flavour bomb set, now it’s time for the easy part – roasting.

Peruvian Roast Chicken with Aji Verde

Peruvian roast chicken is everything I love about roast chicken: The crisp and golden skin, calling dibs on a drumstick, and that mind blowing aroma that fills my kitchen. But this Peruvian roast chicken recipe isn&rsquot just another roast chicken recipe. Here&rsquos why:

&bullIt&rsquos smoky and a little spicy, but with pizzazz. I&rsquom sticking as close as possible to the real thing by adding two kinds of Peruvian chile pastes: aji amarillo and aji panca (aji means chile peppers). These two actually taste quite different. Aji amarillo is spicy, bright, and just a little sweet, while aji panca has big, bold, and smoky flavors without as much heat. Can&rsquot find either? Sub a tad of cayenne pepper for the aji amarillo and smoked paprika for the aji panca.

&bullAlso, meet aji verde. It&rsquos a creamy, punchy, and cool green sauce that is traditionally served with Peruvian chicken &ndash ideally slathered. (It&rsquos also perfect for dipping veggies and ruffled potato chips.)

&bullYou can&rsquot serve this on a platter looking like a whole roasted chicken. It&rsquoll look more like a deeply tanned starfish alien because the chicken is spatchcocked.

What the spatchcock?

Spatchcocking sounds dirty, but it just means removing the backbone and flattening the chicken so that each part cooks to perfection at the same time. It also cuts back on the roasting time. Some may call it butterflying. I&rsquom sticking to spatchcocking. Here&rsquos how you spatchcock a chicken:

PSA: If the thought of cutting through bones freaks you out, call your most heroic friend or neighborly butcher for help. Need a way out? Just use four chicken legs and cut the cook time down to about 45 minutes. Otherwise, gather your bird, sharp kitchen shears, and a large cutting board.


Use a small pairing knife and your fingers to gently loosen the skin from the chicken breasts and thighs. Stuff the herbs and garlic under the skin and spread in an even layer. Sprinkle the salt all over the chicken and season with pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 500°F. Preheat a large cast-iron skillet in the oven for 5 minutes. Put the chicken in the skillet, breast side up, and roast for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 475°F, turn the chicken breast-side down and roast for about 20 minutes longer, or until the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced. Flip the bird back over and cook for 5 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a board and let rest for 10 minutes carve.

Skim the fat from the juices in the skillet. Serve with a side of roasted vegetables. Pour the juices over all. Add 1 tablespoon water to the pan and pour over the chicken again.

Lemony Herb Roast Chicken

A classic roast chicken recipe gets a subtle upgrade with accompanying notes of citrus and thyme.

cloves garlic, crushed with press

softened butter or olive oil

whole chicken (4 to 5 lbs.), patted dry

medium onion, thinly sliced

bunch radishes, trimmed, quartered

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In bowl, mash zest, garlic, thyme, 2 tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper until combined. With fingers, gently separate skin from breast and thighs of chicken. Place butter mixture under skin spread evenly. Tie drumsticks together and tuck wings behind breast.
  3. Place chicken on rack fitted into medium roasting pan. Arrange onion and radishes around chicken. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter brush all over chicken, then sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Pour 1/4 cup water into bottom of roasting pan.
  4. Roast chicken 50 minutes. Reset oven temperature to 425°F roast, checking to make sure water has not completely evaporated (add another 1/4 cup if necessary), 15 to 20 minutes or until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F.
  5. Let chicken rest at least 15 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, use Roasted Onion & Radishes and any pan juices to prepare Panzanella.

Nutritional information (per serving): 415 cals, 40 g protein, 1 g carbs, 27 g fat (10 g sat), 345 mg sodium.

Classic Roast Chicken

Ingredients US Metric

  • One (4 1/2- to 5-pound) chicken
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, cut into chunks (optional)
  • 4 or 5 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional)
  • 4 large fresh thyme sprigs (optional)


Remove the packets in the cavity of the chicken and reserve them for another use or discard them. Remove and discard any pockets of excess fat from around the cavity. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.

Brush or rub the chicken all over with oil and season it inside and out with salt and pepper. If using the onion, parsley, and thyme, cram them inside the cavity. Tuck the wing tips under the back. If you like, truss the chicken by tying the legs together with kitchen string. (Please note that trussing the hen will increase the roasting time by a few minutes since the bird is held in a more compact mass.)

Oil a V-shaped roasting rack or a wire cooling rack and place it in a roasting pan or baking dish just large enough to hold the chicken. Place the chicken on the rack and let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C) and position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. [Editor’s Note: You do, of course, know that anytime you crank the oven past 400°F it’s an invitation for the remnants of last week’s apple pie and last summer’s barbecue ribs to smolder, yes? Best take an honest look at your oven before roasting this hen and, if need be, scrub any splotches or chances you’ll find yourself flinging open some windows and fanning towels at some smoke detectors.]

Roast the chicken until the juices run clear and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh away from the bone registers 165°F (74°C), 50 to 60 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven. Slip the handle of a long wooden spoon or a pair of tongs in the chicken cavity and carefully tip the bird slightly, draining the liquid from the cavity into the pan. Transfer the chicken to a platter or carving board and tent it with aluminum foil. Let the hen rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

If you trussed the hen, snip the string and discard it. Remove any contents from the cavity and toss them in the trash. Carve the chicken and serve it at once, trying not to surreptitiously snitch any of that crisp skin before sitting down at the table. Originally published December 20, 2011.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This recipe is simply divine. Simplicity at its best! The only suggestion is to check the internal temperature of the chicken after 40 minutes of cooking…for me, it read 170°F after 43 minutes. So just know your oven and have that meat thermometer ready! This is the perfect roast chicken!

This is the easiest roast chicken I have ever made. The preparation came together in a snap. I placed the chicken in the oven, set the timer, and walked away. About 35 minutes into the roasting, I heard sizzling sounds coming from the oven. Since there were no flames, I didn't worry about, it but continued to let the chicken roast. It only took 40 minutes for the chicken to register the required temperature. The skin of the chicken came out golden and crisp. The chicken itself was moist, tender and surprisingly full of flavor.

This is an easy go-to recipe on those crazy long days. Roast chicken in less than an hour—that is pretty cool.

Easy and perfect. What more could a cook want? Oh yeah, fast. This recipe hit the mark on all three. Usually I brine to ensure juiciness, but this high-heat recipe turned out a bird with moist meat and crisp skin. My husband even remarked that the leftovers he reheated were still juicy and delicious. I removed the chicken from the oven when the temperature on the thermometer read 168°F. After a 10-minute rest, it had risen a few degrees and was well within the safe zone. I will be tweaking the seasonings for variety but this a great all-purpose basic recipe that I am happy to add to my roast chicken repertoire

This recipe is about as simple as it gets when it comes to roasting a chicken. The skin was absolutely crispy and delicious and the meat was very moist.

The bird I roasted was 4 pounds. I followed the recipe exactly, doing the trussing of the legs as well. The chicken took almost twice as long as the recipe asked for, so perhaps you should start early if you have guests coming over. Maybe the problem was mine—the onion and parsley and thyme sprigs filled the cavity almost to capacity. I probably used branches of the herbs instead of sprigs. The end result was worth it, however.

I hated to waste the tasty bits on the bottom of the roasting pan, so I added a touch of white wine and fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper, and made a quick pan sauce. Will make this again, perhaps not trussing the bird next time.

If you're looking for a simple yet tasty roast chicken, this is it. There really is nothing to it, but the end result is a very nice, juicy, tender and far-from-dry roast chicken.

I used a 4-pound organic chicken, and even though I was afraid of the high heat and timing of 60 minutes, it was actually perfect. Now I must say…we DID have to have the fan on and even opened a few windows, as we had quite a bit of smoke in the house. This is a redo for a day we won’t have much time to create a more complex roast chicken, as it can all be prepared ahead of time.

I was looking for a Sunday night dinner dish, and this roast chicken really appealed to me. Mainly because I have never used such high heat to roast a chicken throughout the entire course of the suggested roasting time. Also, I usually rub butter on the chicken before I roast it I liked the idea of olive oil instead. My chicken was perfectly crisp on the outside and juicy in the middle, right at 45 minutes. I would sprinkle some salt and pepper on the outside of the chicken for flavor, in addition to inside the cavity of the bird.

The recipe says to drain the juices into the pan before serving, which works fine, but don’t get rid of those fabulous juices! I plan on making a gravy with mine this week. Also, I would save the onions from inside the bird as well…maybe chopped up in my gravy! I would recommend this recipe to anyone looking for a crisp, juicy chicken any night of the week.

I roasted a 3 1/2-pound chicken for an hour to get to the correct internal temperature. At 165°F, the chicken was perfectly cooked throughout. The high oven temperature made the skin quite crisp and gave it a beautiful golden color. The breast meat, which can sometimes be quite dry, was moist and juicy. I learned that I no longer need to sear the chicken on the stove top before roasting to get that crisp, golden skin that is the mark of a well-roasted chicken.

My only recommendation would be to make a quick pan sauce with the juices that are drained from the cavity. I deglazed with a little white wine (actually Prosecco, which I already had open in the refrigerator), then I added some chicken base, a little water, and flour for thickening, brought everything to a boil for a few minutes, strained it and added a pat of butter for richness and shine. With very little effort, I had a delicious sauce to pour over the chicken.

My roast chicken technique is an amalgamation of a variety of techniques I’ve picked up over the years, including an overnight salt brine and starting out the oven really hot to crisp the skin, turning it down after a bit to not dry out the chicken. This recipe is much quicker, basically because it cuts out the brining process. All in all, this is a straightforward recipe—follow the instructions, keeping an eye on the bird to make sure that it doesn’t burn/dry out.

I found that for my 4.5 pound chicken, it took about 45 minutes. I like to slice up potatoes and onions and place them under the chicken while it roasts to soak up the juices. If I have time, I’ll be following my usual roast chicken technique, but this is a good one to keep on hand if you have a hankering for roast chicken and need to have it that same night.

Not only is this the simplest roast chicken I’ve ever made, it is the best!

I roasted a 7-pound chicken, so the cooking time was closer to 90 minutes. Cooking the chicken at such a high heat ensures a very crisp skin and moist meat—even the breast! And not a bit goes to waste—I’m using the carcass right now to make homemade chicken stock! I omitted parsley because the batch in my garden looked rather anemic. Otherwise I followed the recipe precisely. This is the new “go to” roast chicken recipe in our house!

An excellent basic recipe for roast chicken. You can get fancier with herbs, lemon, garlic, etc., but if you follow these instructions, it will be perfectly cooked and moist.

I had a 4 1/4-pound chicken and 55 minutes was perfect. I did truss the chicken, which adds a little time, but makes it easier for beginners to get a moist chicken.

Hints: if you are going to cook chicken right, get an instant-read thermometer or probe thermometer. It’s the only way to tell if the meat truly is done to the right temperature. Also, if you loosen the skin a little by carefully working your fingers under it, it puffs a bit when you cook it and gets a nice crisp to it. Also—the hottest part of the oven is the back, so put the chicken in feet first—this way the dark meat that is trussed is in the hottest part and the breast is at a lower temp for a moister chicken breast and perfectly done legs and thighs.

This is a great recipe for a basic roast chicken. I used a larger bird than called for because I feed a family of 6 and I only had to add about 10 minutes to the roasting time. The bird did get crispy and dark brown before the time was up, but a sheet of tin foil over the bird kept the wonderful skin from burning.


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This looks spot-on! However, when I roast a whole hen (or he grills one..) I stuff it with the above ingredients PLUS a half of a lemon. I also throw in a softened pat of butter with it. I tie the sprigs of Thyme, Parsley, a few Sage leaves and one Rosemary sprig with twine and add the lemon quarter or half & stuff the hen. Oil the outside, season, and roast. Comes out absolutely beautiful! A comfort food anytime and company-worthy.