Picnic Roast Chicken

Roasting a chicken is such a simple thing to do, and yet tender, succulent roast chicken is one of those dinners that creates a real sense of home and comfort. Squeezing lemon juice over the top before cooking makes the skin golden and adds flavour.

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Serves: 6



  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 sprigs tarragon, parsley, thyme or rosemary, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C fanbake. Rinse chicken, pat dry inside and out with paper towels and place in a roasting dish. Halve the lemon, squeeze the juice over the chicken and place the skins in the cavity with the herbs. Season chicken inside and out with salt and tie the legs with heatproof string.
  2. Roast until the chicken is golden, the juices run clear when it is skewered in the deepest part of the thigh, and the liquids in the inside are brown not red (about 1 hour, depending on size). Serve hot, warm or at room temperature, garnished with extra tarragon, parsley, thyme or rosemary sprigs. If not serving within 3 hours, chill until needed.


  • Throw a few potatoes in the roasting dish for an easy family meal or use cold chicken in picnic rolls with a tasty Horseradish Slaw (please hyperlink to recipe), or as the starting point for a hearty pie or Asian-style salad.


View a video of Annabel making this recipe in her new TV series Annabel Langbein The Free Range Cook: Through the Seasons at annabel-langbein.com