Cooking a whole roast chicken is always special and this one comes with a delicious and simple pan gravy!
The Perfect Sunday Roast.
You can take the Brit out of Britain, but you can’t take the Britain out of the Brit! As much as my food is influenced by global flavours I still have a huge love for classic simple British food.
Sunday lunch is at the heart of that love and a simple roast chicken is a thing of great beauty.
And with roast chicken you need a good gravy, this simplest of meals has been complicated over time.
But it really needn’t be any stress at all!
How to Roast a Whole Chicken.
There are genuinely no special skills involved here.
All you need is a timer and a meat thermometer and you will cook your chicken as well as any restaurant!
I always start out with a hot oven and then reduce the temperature to finish the cooking because it leads to the most beautifully coloured and flavoured skin.
The first thing I do is to remove the wishbone, this makes the bird easier to carve. You can see how I do this in the video below, it is in the first few seconds.
I always make a little herb and butter mix to stuff under the skin. It adds a little flavour to that delicate and often bland breast meat.
To loosen the skin simply place your finger under the skin at the cavity end. Then free up the membrane in the centre near the breast bone.
Once that is free you can gently work it and get your whole hand in there!
I never stuff a bird because it has an impact on cooking time and makes it unpredictable. I usually prefer sage and onion stuffing balls!
Then it is just a matter of using a meat thermometer and removing the bird from the oven when it reaches 68ºC or 155ºF at the thickest part of the flesh.
Then let the bird rest… This is the part that people often skip, it is the most important part!
All that is left to do is wait for the perfect roast potatoes to finish.
How to Make a Chicken Pan Gravy.
This is the best part of a Sunday roast and a pan gravy from roast chicken, pork or beef is pure magic.
It is really simple and requires nothing more than some good quality stock and some flour.
To begin you need to separate out the cooking juices from the fat. You do need some of the fat but not all of it.
I always pour off the contents of the pan into a glass bowl and skim off the fat.
Then return a little of this fat back into the roasting pan and then whisk it with the flour.
Then you add back in the resting juices and stock. That’s it the perfect gravy!
If you are restricted to an induction hob you will need to get a roasting tin that works on one of these.
Failing that you can pour hot stock into the roasting tin and scrape off the baked-on sediment. These are so important to the flavour of the gravy.
Finally, if you have leftovers, then you must give this simple leftover chicken soup a whirl it is wonderful!
You can't really beat a perfectly roast hunk of meat with a pan gravy and a whole chicken is a frugal family favourite!
- 1 Whole Chicken
- Salt to Taste
- 50 g Softened Butter
- 1/2 Tsp Dried Sage
- 1/ Tsp Dried Thyme
For the Pan Gravy
- 1.5 Tbsp Flour
- 250 ml Chicken Stock
- Salt, To taste
- Remove the chicken from the fridge an hour before cooking.
- Mash the sage and thyme with the softened butter and a generous helping of salt.
- Dry the chicken inside and out as far as possible.
- Gently ease the skin away from the chicken breast and place the butter mix under the skin.
- Massage this butter so that it forms a uniform layer over the breasts.
- Place the chicken in a hot oven at 220ºC or 450ºF for 20 minutes.
- Then reduce the temperature to 180ºC or 350ºF and cook on for a further 30 minutes per kilogram.
- Use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature of the bird. You want a temperature of 68ºC or 155ºF.
- Tilt the bird when removing from the pan to allow any internal juices to run into the pan.
- Allow the chicken to rest for 20-30 minutes.
- This internal temperature of the bird will rise into the safe zone of 74ºC or 165ºF during this time.
For the Pan Gravy.
- Pour out the contents of the roasting tin to a bowl.
- Tilt the bowl and skim the fat off the top.
- Return 2 tablespoons of this fat to the roasting tin and add to a medium heat.
- Add the flour for the gravy and whisk for 2-3 minutes.
- Pour in the juices from the chicken and whisk for another minute or two.
- Add in the chicken stock and test for seasoning.
- Add any further resting juices from the chicken when it is carved.
- Finally, pass through a fine-mesh sieve before pouring into a jug.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 482Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 160mgSodium: 585mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 43g