This festive Roast Chicken for Christmas is perfectly cooked. Flavored with lemon, garlic and thyme, this delicious Christmas roast chicken recipe makes a wonderful Christmas (or Thankgiving) dinner alternative to turkey.
In a few easy steps, I show you just how easy it is to make the perfect Christmas Chicken roast, resulting in moist and juicy chicken every time.
This is one of the best ways of roasting chicken since the hot oven gives the perfect combination of juicy meat and crispy skin.
It not only makes a great centerpiece on Christmas Day, this chicken is perfect for the holidays and is the perfect Roast Chicken for Thanksgiving, New Year celebrations and even Easter.
- Why You'll Love This Christmas Chicken Recipe
- Christmas Chicken Roast Ingredients
- How to Make Festive Season Chicken for Christmas - With these Simple Steps
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Variations & Substitutions for Holiday Roast Chicken
- Tips & Tricks For Making this Moist Roast Chicken Dish
- Pin This Roast Chicken for Christmas Recipe For Later
- What Do You Think?!
- More Easy Recipe Ideas
- Printable Recipe
- Roast Chicken for Christmas
- Reader Comments & Ratings
Why You'll Love This Christmas Chicken Recipe
- Chicken is the ideal roast for smaller gatherings. It is easier to prepare and cooks a lot quicker than a large turkey.
- Everyone loves a good roast chicken - when I serve roast chicken on the Christmas table there are rarely any leftovers!
- The perfect roast chicken also works for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter or any Sunday lunch when you want something a little special.
- Any leftover meat can be used the next day in sandwiches, salads, stir-fry's, tacos or in a simple quesadilla. Leftover bones can be used for stock or soup too.
Christmas Chicken Roast Ingredients
Find the full list and quantities in the recipe below.
Whole Chicken - I use a good quality organic chicken wherever possible. This helps to make sure the meat is good quality with no hidden ingredients.
Butter - you can use salted or unsalted butter in this recipe. If using salted butter take care when adding any extra salt to season the chicken.
Aromatics - I have used a combination of lemon, thyme and garlic as these flavors pair beautifully together. You could also use rosemary, bay or sage.
How to Make Festive Season Chicken for Christmas - With these Simple Steps
Find the full printable recipe card below.
Pre-heat the oven and prepare a whole chicken by removing any giblets, washing and drying thoroughly. Place the chicken on a baking sheet lined with foil.
Flavour the chicken by rubbing the halved garlic bulb all over the skin of the chicken.
Season the bird generously with salt and pepper including underneath. Smear butter all over the top of the chicken breast, thighs and leg.
Stuff the garlic cloves into the chicken cavity along with the lemon wedges and thyme.
If you wish to, tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken so they don't catch in the oven.
Roast in the preheated oven for around 1 hour 30 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and the meat is cooked through.
Allow to rest covered in foil for 15 minutes. Serve sliced with the roasted garlic and lemons, if you like.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much chicken should I serve per person?
I have roasted a large 5lb chicken which will serve a family of 6. Allow 4-5 ounces of cooked chicken per person.
Do you cook the whole chicken covered or uncovered?
I always cook my roast chicken uncovered, that's how you get that coveted crispy skin! If it looks like the chicken is beginning to brown too much, then you can loosely tent it with aluminium foil until it has finished cooking.
Should you truss a chicken to roast it?
Trussing a chicken is when you tie it together with string, ensuring the wings and legs remain close to the body of the bird.
Trussing a chicken keeps it together, allowing it to brown evenly and retain moisture in the bird. In particular the chicken breast can dry out if the bird is left loose during the roasting process.
How do you know when roast chicken is cooked?
To find out if roast chicken is properly cooked without a thermometer you can cut into it. If the juices run clear, then the chicken is fully cooked. If the juices are red or have a pinkish color, your chicken may need to be cooked a bit longer.
Alternatively for a failsafe method, use a meat thermometer. Place it into the thickest part of the chicken. The meat is cooked the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (75 degrees celsius).
Variations & Substitutions for Holiday Roast Chicken
Chicken is a such versatile meat, feel free to experiment! You can add or substitute any of these flavors:
- Swap the lemon for orange slices, mandarins or satsumas.
- Add an onion along with the garlic for extra flavor.
- Use any variety of fresh herbs, including thyme, lemon thyme, rosemary, fresh sage leaves or bay.
- You could also add a simple marinade or brine the chicken before cooking.
Tips & Tricks For Making this Moist Roast Chicken Dish
Secrets for the best roast chicken
- Take the chicken out of the fridge an hour before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature. This stops the outside cooking much faster than the inside.
- Don't forget to season the bird well inside and outside with salt and pepper. This really does make all the difference to the final flavor. I use kosher salt or sea salt. If you only have table salt use slightly less since it's processed.
- Take the butter out of the refrigerator to soften 30 minutes before cooking the chicken, it will make it easier to spread.
- Don't be afraid of a hot oven, as a hot oven ensures the meat cooks quickly and doesn't dry out. It also gives that all important crispy skin.
How To Serve Holiday Roast Chicken
When it comes to sides, you can really add just about any veggie dish to accompany this Christmas roast chicken.
For Thanksgiving or Christmas Roast Chicken I would always serve my British Roast Potatoes or my shortcut Kitchenaid Mashed Potatoes. With extra side dishes of Honey Butter Roasted Carrots, or Honey Roasted Parsnips. I also recommend adding some cranberry sauce for a burst of fruity sweetness.
However, this easy roast chicken can be served any time of the year with my Baked Sweet Potatoes, Gluten Free Cauliflower Cheese or my Easy Grilled Asparagus. Or for a lighter touch, how about with my Arugula Burrata Salad with Balsamic.
How To Reheat Leftover Cold Chicken?
Leftover roast chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
When ready to reheat you can wrap it up in a little kitchen foil and place it into a hot oven to warm through. I like to use foil as it stops the chicken from drying out too much during the reheating process.
How to Freeze Roast Chicken?
Once cooked, allow the chicken to cool completely before portioning the bird and placing into and airtight freezer-safe container.
The chicken can be frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy place in the refrigerator to defrost thoroughly before serving either hot or cold.
Pin This Roast Chicken for Christmas Recipe For Later
What Do You Think?!
I'd love to know what you think about this recipe! I'd be so grateful if you scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave a star rating and comment.
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This post was shared with the #cookblogshare community, which this week was kindly hosted by Kacie at The Rare Welsh Bit.
More Easy Recipe Ideas
Roast Chicken for Christmas
- 5lb whole Chicken
- 1 bulb Garlic - unpeeled, cut in 2 through the middle
- 1 Lemon - cut into wedges
- 10 sprigs Thyme
- Sea Salt and Black pepper
- 2 oz Butter - at room temperature so it's spreadable.
- Pre-heat oven to 450ºF/225ºC
- Remove the chicken giblets from the chicken. Wash the bird and pat dry.
- Line a medium sized baking tray with foil and lay the chicken on top.
- Rub the halved garlic bulb all over the skin of the chicken to flavor it well.
- Season the bird generously with salt and pepper. Don't forget to season underneath.
- Smear butter all over the top of the chicken breast, thighs and legs.
- Stuff the chicken cavity with the lemon wedges, garlic halves and the thyme.
- Tie the legs together with kitchen string if you want to (this isn't essential but looks neat and helps the bird cook evenly). Tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken so they don't catch in the oven.
- Roast in oven for around 90 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and the meat is cooked through.Note - If the top of the skin starts to brown too quickly tent the chicken loosely with aluminium foil.
- Allow to rest covered in foil for 15 minutes. Carve and serve!
I love roast chicken! Thanks for the detailed recipe.
Jo Keohane says
You're so welcome Janice. Very hard to beat a good roast chicken dinner isn't it?!
Kate - Gluten Free Alchemist says
I can't think about Christmas just yet... but hey! Roast Chicken is for all year... So why wait to eat such a delicious bird? Thanks for sharing such a yummy recipe x
Jo Keohane says
Haha - it will be here before we know it - yikes. Thanks so much for your comment.
Jo Keohane says
haha - it will be here scarily soon. Appreciate your comment!
Kacie Morgan says
My family and I always have roast chicken for Christmas, along with lamb and beef. We aren't keen on turkey, we find it quite bland and dry.
Jo Keohane says
You can't beat a good roast chicken...Thanks for your comment.
Grace Mortimore says
It's hard to beat a simple roast chicken for Christmas, love the tips for crispy skin!!
Jo Keohane says
Thanks for the feedback, you can't beat crispy skin!!