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Ultimate Guide to Preparing Roti Poulet: A Classic French Delight

Introduction to Roti Poulet

Roti Poulet, or Roast Chicken, is a timeless classic in French cuisine, beloved for its crispy skin, tender meat, and flavourful herbs. This guide will walk you through the process of preparing Roti Poulet au Four, using a traditional recipe that promises a delightful culinary experience. With precise steps and essential tips, you'll achieve a perfect poulet roti every time.

Top down view of the classic Roti Poulet dish fresh out of the oven
Roti Poulet

The Quintessential Roti Poulet Recipe

Ingredients for Poulet Roti

  • Whole chicken (approximately 1.5kg or 3.3lbs)

  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary, finely chopped

  • 1 lemon, halved

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 2 onions, quartered

  • 1 cup of chicken broth

Preparation Steps

  1. Preheat the Oven: Begin by preheating your oven to 190°C (375°F). This ensures your poulet roti au four cooks evenly.

  2. Prepare the Chicken: Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. This step is crucial for achieving crispy skin.

  3. Season Generously: In a small bowl, mix the softened butter, olive oil, minced garlic, thyme, and rosemary. Rub this mixture both under and over the skin of the chicken. Season the cavity and outer with salt and pepper, then stuff the cavity with the lemon halves.

  4. Vegetable Bed: Place the quartered onions in a roasting pan. These will act as a natural rack for the chicken, enhancing its flavor and preventing it from sticking to the pan.

  5. Roast: Place the chicken breast-side up on the onions. Roast in the preheated oven for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Baste the chicken with the pan juices every 20 minutes to keep it moist.

  6. Rest Before Serving: Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring the meat is succulent.

  7. Serve: Carve the chicken and serve it with the roasted onions and a side of your choice. Pour some of the chicken broth over the carved pieces to add extra flavour.

Expert Tips for a Perfect Roti Poulet

  • Choosing the Right Chicken: Opt for a free-range or organic chicken for the best flavor.

  • Butter Under the Skin: Gently lifting the skin and spreading the butter mixture underneath ensures the flavors penetrate deep into the meat.

  • Checking Doneness: Use a meat thermometer to check the chicken's internal temperature, which should reach 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part.


This Roti Poulet recipe is more than just a meal; it's a celebration of French culinary traditions, bringing the essence of French dining into your home. With each step meticulously designed to achieve the perfect roast chicken, you're guaranteed a dish that's not only delicious but also a testament to the simplicity and elegance of French cooking. Embrace the art of cooking with this Roti Poulet au Four recipe and enjoy a meal that's truly remarkable.

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