Rosemary Citrus Roasted Chicken


If you are dreaming of serving or eating a juicy roasted chicken for Christmas, this is it! This is my traditional “Western” roasted chicken recipe. You are free to modify the basic recipe with more spices, masala etc. However, do remember that the first five steps and the ingredients for these steps are important – these will make the chicken moist.

Preparation time:   20 minutes

Cooking time: 1.5 hours

Serves:   6

80 g Thirumala Ghee, room temperature

3 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped

½ teaspoon black pepper, coarsely pounded black pepper

½ teaspoon salt

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1 chicken, about 1.5 kg – 2 kg, oven ready

3 tablespoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon coarsely pounded black pepper

2 medium onions, quartered

1 medium apple, cored and quartered

1 large carrot, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

4 sprigs thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

4 sprigs coriander leaves, coarsely chopped

2 dried bay leaves

2 sprigs rosemary

250 ml chicken stock or white wine


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Combine Thirumala Ghee, chopped rosemary, pepper, salt and lemon zest together in a small bowl.
  3. Carefully loosen skin from the chicken; rub the prepared ghee mixture under the skin.
  4. Brush chicken with lemon juice and sprinkle salt and pepper all over chicken and the inside cavity.
  5. Place one onion and half of the apple inside the cavity.
  6. Tuck wings under chicken and tie drumsticks together with an oven friendly twine.
  7. Place breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan.
  8. Arrange carrot, celery, thyme, coriander leaves, bay leaves, rosemary sprigs and remaining onion and apple around chicken. Pour the stock into pan.
  9. Roast, basting occasionally with drippings, for 1-1/2 hours or until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 175°C. Alternatively, you can check by slicing the skin between the leg and the breast and peek at the juices. If they’re clear, the chicken is likely done. Cover loosely with foil if chicken browns too quickly.
  10. Cover and let stand 15 minutes before carving and serving.


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