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Marion’s Best Roast Chicken

I was today years old when I discovered that mayonnaise (yes, MAYO!) gives you the crispiest skin and juiciest meat when roasting chicken. It’s just one of the experiments conducted in my Test Kitchen, when I set out to try all the techniques to make the best roast chicken ever. From oils and bastes to brining methods and oven temperatures, I’ve done it all. And what follows is the ultimate recipe… mayo roast chicken!

5 minutes + overnight dry brining
1 hour + resting

1 x 1.6kg (3 lb 8 oz) whole chicken

½ cup whole egg mayonnaise

sea salt

  • Step 1

    Prepare the chicken the day before you want to cook it. Pat the whole bird dry with paper towel, then season liberally all over with sea salt. Rub the salt into the skin. Place the chicken onto a plate or tray, then transfer to the fridge. Leave it, uncovered, to do its thing overnight.

  • Step 2

    The next day, preheat your oven to 240°C (460°F).

  • Step 3

    Take the chicken out of the fridge and give it time to come to room temperature. Pat dry all over once more with paper towel to ensure the skin is dry. Next, using a pastry brush, brush the mayonnaise all over the chicken. Use kitchen string to tie the chicken legs together.

  • Step 4

    Place your basted bird in a roasting dish and transfer to the oven. Roast in the oven until the internal temp is 75°C or 165°F (make sure you use a meat thermometer – our chicken took roughly one hour). The juices should run clear when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh meat with a knife or skewer. Rest the chicken for 10 minutes before carving and serving.

Why do people put mayo on chicken?

There are a LOT of chicken recipes for making roast chicken… but what is the BEST? As well as oven temperatures and brining methods, we put a variety of basting fats through their paces. We tested butter basting, olive oil roasting and mayonnaise. And the mayo roast chicken won the day! The sugars and proteins it contains help generate a gorgeous browning on the skin, while also locking in moisture and keeping the meat lovely and juicy (and no, it doesn’t make the chicken taste like mayonnaise). Mayonnaise also doesn’t burn as easily or as quickly as butter, so it also has an element of protecting your meat when cooked at a high temperature.

What temperature do you roast a chicken at?

This was another test we tried! A lot of chicken roast recipes suggest cooking at 180°C, which is roughly 350°F. However, we found that the high-heat roasting method was better, as it crisps the skin and makes it golden without overcooking the inside. For the most consistent results, always use a meat thermometer.

What should the internal temperature of chicken be?

A safe internal temperature for chicken is 75°C, or 165°F.

When roasting a chicken, should it be covered or uncovered?

In Marion’s Test Kitchen, we recommend to roast a chicken uncovered for the best result, as it allows the hot air to circulate evenly in your oven.

Wet brining or dry brining?

Marion’s best roast chicken uses the dry brining technique, which consists of rubbing salt all over the whole chicken and leaving to rest in the fridge overnight. The wet brine still tasted good, but we found it involved more steps and therefore more effort, so dry took the title.

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

What our customers say

4.9 out of 5 stars (based on 7 reviews)
Very good14%

Roast Chicken

November 20, 2023

Thank you Marion for the amazing Roast Chicken recipe and the magic temp 220C – 20 mins for every 500g was fantastic

Chicken was juicy and delicious.

Will be baking it again and again and again for sure.

Avatar for Jacqui


October 23, 2023

I followed this recipe to the T, with the exception of stuffing the cavity with lime wedges as I had seen Marion do in one of her other videos. This chicken turned out fantastic. Best roast chicken I have ever made. Thanks Marion!

Avatar for Laura

So easy to prep and absolutely delicious!

September 14, 2023

I did mine in an air fryer (with the food thermometer), I also stuffed mine with breadcrumbs with thyme, lemon zest, lemon wedges, garlic, lemon juice and a dash of oil, then shoved two quarters of the lemon and a bung of thyme into the cavity. I didn’t have a brush, so I slathered the mayo onto the chicken with my hands, I think the chicken enjoyed it too. I laid it breast down in the air fryer, did 20 minutes at 200 (the max it would go) then flipped it over (that was a bit of a challenge), then stuck the food thermometer in it and let it roast until it got to 75 degrees C. It. Was. Delicious. Juicy. Amazing! It was the best chicken I’ve ever tasted!

This is the first time EVER I have cooked a whole chicken and it was an absolute success! Next time I’m going to use garlic aioli and see how that turns out! Whilst it was resting for its ten minutes I chucked the veggies into the air fryer and made gravy and googled how to carve it. I’m delighted with my chicken and my husband said it was very well done.

Avatar for Lesley

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