The Perfect Roast Chicken

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Serves: 4
  • Credit: Liam- Bia Maith


Whole chicken- 1.4g or 1 medium for 4 people
Smoked back or smoked streaky rashers- 6 back or 10-12 streaky
5 tbsp of Donegal Rapeseed Oil with garlic
Butter- around 25g
Salt and pepper- pinch
Tin foil


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4.
  2. Soften the butter, then add the salt, pepper and chopped garlic. Mix really well, then set to one side.
  3. Remove the chicken from the packaging. It should smell fresh and not musty/sour. Don’t wash it, you can easily spread harmful bacteria around your kitchen.
  4. Remove the string, and place the bird in the roasting tin.
  5. Check the cavity for a little packet containing the innards, this should be removed. It can be used for stock to make a lovely gravy.
  6. When you have removed the bag, you want to fill the same cavity with stuffing. You can find Liam’s recipes for Sage & Onion Stuffing here:
  7. Pack the stuffing right into the cavity through the neck.
  8. Look at the front of the bird. Just above where you stuffed it you will see the top of the breast which is covered with skin.
  9. Gently use your fingers to part the skin from the flesh. Start right in the middle and work your way back. Don’t remove it, just make it so you can get your fingers in.
  10. Take the butter and rub it on the flesh below the skin. When done, pat the skin back down and stretch it so it covers the flesh.
  11. Run the garlic oil all over the bird then wash your hands really well. Make sure you don’t touch anything else until your hands are properly washed and dried.
  12. Layer the rashers over the bird, starting at the back working your way forward to where you stuffed it and put the butter.
  13. You don’t need to cover the legs.
  14. Keep one rasher back to cover the cavity where you put the stuffing.
  15. When covered with the rashers, cover the roasting tin and bird with the tin foil.
  16. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
  17. When 30 minutes have passed, remove from the oven and gently remove the foil. Try not to tear it as you want to cover the bird again.
  18. Using a soup spoon or baster, scoop up some of the cooking juices from the tin. You can make this easier by tilting the roasting tin but be careful as it will be very hot.
  19. Spoon loads of the juices over the chicken, this is called basting and helps keep the meat nice and moist.
  20. Cover the chicken again and cook for a further 30 minutes.
  21. Do this once more, so it has been in for an hour and basted twice.
  22. Remove the foil, baste again and return to the oven, only this time leave the foil off. Turn the oven up to 200°C/Gas Mark 6.
  23. Roast for 15 minutes, then baste. This time, turn the roasting tin so the side facing the front now faces the back, return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
  24. Allow the meat to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving when cooked.

Find more great recipes from Liam on his website, Bia Maith.


Top Tip

To test if the chicken is cooked, Liam advises using a digital thermometer. The temperature can be easily tested by sticking it in a few different spots and ensuring the temp is 75°C.

If you don’t have a digital thermometer, simply pierce the flesh at the thickest part with a skewer or a knife, check that the juices are golden and clear of blood and red dots. Test just below the leg the same way.

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