Roast chicken taste test

Thirty years of intensive farming practices means expensive organic and free-range chickens don’t taste any better than a standard factory chook.
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  • Updated:3 Mar 2008

05.Cooking the best chicken

Here’s the way to cook the perfect roast chicken, from CHOICE’s home economist:

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C if it’s fan-forced). Roasted chickens in baking tray
  • Carefully lift the breast skin away from the flesh of the chicken and place knobs of butter under the skin. Cut a lemon in half and put both halves in the cavity. Rub the skin with butter and season with salt and pepper.
  • Truss the chicken (tie its legs together and make sure the wings are tucked under).
  • Place the chicken breast-side up on a rack, in a shallow roasting pan with water. Cook for about 30 minutes per 500g of chicken. Shield any areas that are cooking faster than others (such as wings and drumsticks, even sometimes the breast) with foil.
  • To test if the chicken is ready, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh. If the juices run clear with no sign of pink, the chicken is cooked.
  • Cover the chicken loosely with foil and set it aside to rest for 5–10 minutes before carving it or cutting it into pieces to serve. (This is your opportunity to turn the oven temperature up high for some really crunchy roast potatoes.)

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