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Fast roast oregano and lemon chicken

This is just a way of roasting a chicken rather than something as prescriptive as a recipe. I am simply suggesting that you cook it at a higher temperature than a regular chicken roasting, and add a herb butter to the skin. The herb butter is using dried oregano (the only dried herb worth using), because it is more suitable for clinging to the skin and surviving the heat. 

The herby skin, and the lemon too, lend a summeryness to it that, at this time of year, is welcome when a trad roast isn’t what you fancy. We had our chicken with a warm salad of new potatoes and green beans, which was so nice and simple to make – and eat alongside. Way easier than the faff and mess of a big roast dinner. 

Serves: 3/4 adults
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes (depending on size of bird, ours was 1.5kg)
Total time: 55 minutes (plus resting time of at least 20 minutes)

1 free-range or organic chicken 
About 100g butter
3 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Large glass of white wine, or water


  1. Preheat oven to 230C. 
  2. First, snip off the string to free up the legs a little. Then make a herb butter by mushing up the butter, lemon zest, salt, pepper and the oregano using your hands. Smear it all over the bird, under the skin over the breasts, and put some in the cavity too.
  3. Squeeze the lemon halves into the cavity and throw it in. 
  4. When your oven is fully preheated, put the bird in. Cook for 15 minutes on this heat. Take the bird out, add a glass of wine to the pan, turn down the heat to 190 and roast for about 50 minutes more. Our bird was 1.5kg so more if bigger and less if smaller. Please judge this for yourself. To test whether it is done insert a skewer into the thickest part and see if the juices run clear. Also tip the bird and see if the juices are clear that come out of the cavity. Rest for at least 20 minutes.
>> Check out more chicken recipes!

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