Preserved Lemon, Thyme and Garlic Butter Roasted Chicken

Preserved Lemon, Thyme and Garlic Butter Roasted Chicken

Lemon, garlic and thyme is a famous combination paired with chicken but, this recipe is a new take on the idea. Combining these ingredients results in a delicious butter mix to go under the skin of your whole chicken allowing the meat to really absorb these amazing flavours.


Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350° f, or gas mark 4.

Put the butter, preserved lemon, garlic, lemon zest, thyme, a large pinch or two of salt and a big grind of black pepper into a food processor. Whizz to combine, if the mixture isn’t combining well sometimes a small splash of olive oil can help get things moving.

Place the chicken in a large roasting tin. Starting at the neck cavity use your fingers to separate the skin and the flesh of the breasts, making space to push the mixture under the skin (do this carefully so the skin does not rip). Now push the mixture under the skin of the chicken, using your hands works best. Rub any leftovers over the top of the chicken and on the legs. Pour the lemon juice over the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Place the used lemon and any leftover thyme sprigs into the cavity of the chicken.

Cook the chicken for 15 minutes per lbs (450g) plus an extra 20 minutes. Baste the chicken every 20 minutes until the skin is golden and crispy. If the skin begins to catch, over the chicken with tin foil while it cooks. The chicken is cooked when the juices run clear when the deepest part of the thigh is pierced with a thin skewer.

Let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes after cooking. Serve with salad and new potatoes.

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 85 mins
Oven Temperature: 180°C, 350° f, or gas mark 4.


  • 1 whole Sutton Hoo Chicken (remove giblets)
  • 75g softened unsalted butter
  • 35g preserved lemon roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 1 grated lemon zest and 1 ½ tbs lemon juice

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