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  1. Put the softened butter into a mixing bowl and finely grate the lemon zest into it (keep the grated lemon to one side). Then mix in the salt, garlic, thyme leaves and chilli flakes
  2. Gently loosen the skin just under the breast and push the aromatic butter in on both sides, all the way up to the other end with your fingers (alternatively you can use a piping bag if you have one). Once the butter's in, you can massage it on top of the skin to ensure that it's evenly spread underneath (this reduces the risk of tearing the skin - it tends to be rather delicate)
  3. Cut the zested lemon in half and put it into the cavity of the chicken
  4. Put the chicken in a roasting dish into the centre of the oven and roast for 20 minutes
  5. Reduce the oven to 160°C (fan) | 180°C (without fan) | Gas mark 4
  6. Continue to roast for another 1 hour and 20 minutes
  7. Leave to rest for 20 minutes in a warm place before carving
Centigrade Fahrenheit Gas Mark Description
140°C 275°F 1 Very Cool
150°C 300°F 2 Cool
160°C 325°F 3 Warm
180°C 350°F 4 Moderate
190°C 375°F 5 Fairly Hot
200°C 400°F 6 Fairly Hot
220°C 425°F 7 Hot
230°C 450°F 8 Very Hot
240°C 475°F 9 Very Hot