Lemon & thyme roast chicken

Servings: 4 people
Carbohydrate Serves: 2.5 per person
(1 carbohydrate serve = 15 grams of total carbohydrate)

I roast an organic free-range chicken at least once a week for my family. It’s a failsafe gestational diabetes dish and once it’s in the oven I don’t have to think about it until that gorgeous aroma comes wafting out of the kitchen. The leftovers are always welcome in our house for next-day chicken sandwiches. And although half the reason for roasting is to get that tasty crisp skin, it’s best removed for a healthier option. (Main carbohydrate containing ingredients are listed in bold.)


  • Light olive oil (spray oil reduces the amount used)
  • 1.4 – 2kg/ 3 – 4.5 pound free range whole chicken, rinsed, dried
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, washed and patted dry
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters or eighths
  • 1/2 head of garlic, unpeeled, cloves separated
  • 4 carrots, halved sideways and lengthways
  • 800g/ 1 ¾ pounds potato, (low GI variety like Nicola or Cole’s Carisma), washed, peeled, cut in half or quartered
  • Green vegetables to serve such as zucchini or green beans

Preheat oven to 180ºC/ 160ºC  fan-forced/ 350ºF.

Wash the chicken inside and out with cold running water and pat dry with paper towel. Place it in an ovenproof dish.

Fill the chicken cavity with fresh thyme and then tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string. Lightly spray bird with oil then season the skin with salt and pepper.

Surround the chicken with lemon, garlic, carrot and potato. Lightly spray vegetables with oil. (Alternatively, in a separate bowl, lightly spray and toss vegetables then transfer to baking dish.)

Place in oven and bake until the chicken is cooked and juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a skewer. (See cooking times below). Baste periodically by carefully spooning juices back over the chicken.

Leave chicken to stand for 5 minutes before carving to let the juices settle.

Serve with additional steamed or blanched green vegetables such as zucchini or green beans. To remain within the carbohydrate allowance, only serve the equivalent of 100-200g/ 14 ounces of potato per person.

Cooking times: My go-to guide for cooking meat, (The Commonsense Cookery Book) says to allow 60 minutes per kilogram of chicken when roasting. So check the weight of your bird.

Interesting fact: Did you know baked potatoes or cold potatoes (as in a potato salad) have a lower GI than mashed?

  • Kaspia says:

    I am giving this one a go tonight! It sounds yummo! x x x

    • Lisa says:

      Hi darling sis! Hope you liked it. This recipe is fool-proof, I make it nearly once a week it’s so dependable & takes 10 mins to prepare. I usually use a nice 1.2kg organic bird.

  • Natalie says:

    Love this recipe!!!! So simple. Even good to pop in slow cooker if your afternoon is manic and don’t have time to prepare then!

    • Lisa says:

      I don’t use a slow cooker (yet) but would never have thought of doing this kind of recipe in one. Thanks for the tip.

  • Anna says:

    I LOVE this recipe! I made it with sweet potato – my understanding is that it’s a lower GI option than white potato – is that correct?

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I’m Lisa Taylor, the mum behind GDRecipes. I created this site after having GDM myself & because I love food. I’d like to inspire, motivate & support you to cook & eat well during your pregnancy with GDM & beyond. Come read my story. My kitchen is your kitchen. ... Read more

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