Perfect Roast Chicken With Pan Gravy

Cooking a whole roast chicken is always special and this one comes with a delicious and simple pan gravy!

Portrait overhead image of a perfectly roast whole chicken, roast potatoes, seared Brussels sprouts, sage and onion stuffing balls and a jug of 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!

A perfect silky pan gravy being poured of over a roast chicken leg served with Brussels sprouts and roast potatoes

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!

Not least because it allows you to perfect the pan gravy, cook the Yorkshire puddings and sage and onion stuffing balls.

All that is left to do is wait for the perfect roast potatoes to finish.

Portrait overhead image of the perfect roast chicken Sunday Lunch featuring a chicken leg, sage and onion stuffing balls, roast potatoes, sprouts and a pan gravy

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!

Perfect Whole Roast Chicken Recipe with a Pan Gravy

Perfect Whole Roast Chicken Recipe with a Pan Gravy

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Resting Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

You can't really beat a perfectly roast hunk of meat with a pan gravy and a whole chicken is a frugal family favourite!

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Remove the chicken from the fridge an hour before cooking.
  2. Mash the sage and thyme with the softened butter and a generous helping of salt.
  3. Dry the chicken inside and out as far as possible.
  4. Gently ease the skin away from the chicken breast and place the butter mix under the skin.
  5. Massage this butter so that it forms a uniform layer over the breasts.
  6. Place the chicken in a hot oven at 220ºC or 450ºF for 20 minutes.
  7. Then reduce the temperature to 180ºC or 350ºF and cook on for a further 30 minutes per kilogram.
  8. Use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature of the bird. You want a temperature of 68ºC or 155ºF.
  9. Tilt the bird when removing from the pan to allow any internal juices to run into the pan.
  10. Allow the chicken to rest for 20-30 minutes.
  11. This internal temperature of the bird will rise into the safe zone of 74ºC or 165ºF during this time.

For the Pan Gravy.

  1. Pour out the contents of the roasting tin to a bowl.
  2. Tilt the bowl and skim the fat off the top.
  3. Return 2 tablespoons of this fat to the roasting tin and add to a medium heat.
  4. Add the flour for the gravy and whisk for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Pour in the juices from the chicken and whisk for another minute or two.
  6. Add in the chicken stock and test for seasoning.
  7. Add any further resting juices from the chicken when it is carved.
  8. Finally, pass through a fine-mesh sieve before pouring into a jug.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 482 Total Fat: 31g Saturated Fat: 12g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 16g Cholesterol: 160mg Sodium: 585mg Carbohydrates: 5g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 1g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 43g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

17 thoughts on this Recipe:

  1. This chicken really does look perfect! What a great skill to have – your pictures look downright delish.

    Reply
  2. I love the flavours you have used for the under skin stuffing and the combination will make it deliciously. We eat roast chicken most weeks so it’s great to find a new way to roast it.

    Reply
  3. Thanks Anne, really glad you like the recipe… I have been playing around with different stuffings under the skin recently and this works wonderfully well, I still like traditional though too, parsley and thyme is a really classic combination that tastes wonderful 🙂 Thanks for the shout out on the link up, I’m sure I will be back!

    Reply
  4. It is a wonderful thing but really versatile, you can do any sort of flavour combination that floats your boat… Cashew and five spice works wonderfully!

    Reply
  5. Agree with you about a) roasting potatoes with the bird b) needing to roast things because you are British and c) getting three meals out of a bird (roast, risotto and a soup usually). Love, mouth-watering post.

    Reply
  6. Growing up we always had some type of roast on a Sunday, unfortunately my mother usually overcooked it,haha! I’ve never tried seasoning under the skin, will definitely have to try this out.

    Reply
    • Thanks Jane… I think many of us will have memories of horribly over cooked joints of meat from our childhood, I certainly do 😉 Seasoning under the skin is a great way of boosting flavour in the often flavourless breast meat, you could enfuse the butter with anything, lemon zest and thyme is one of my favourites and the butter bastes the breast at the start too keeping it lovely and moist.

      Reply

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