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Perfect Sunday Roast Chicken With Pan Gravy

Perfect roast chicken with sage and thyme and a delicious and easy pan gravy makes for the ideal centrepiece for a classic Sunday lunch.

A medium chicken will roast in around an hour and 10 minutes and the resting time gives you all the time you need to make the best and easiest gravy!

Overhead perfect Sunday roast chicken with roast potatoes, stuffing balls, veggies and 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.

Dishes like cottage pie, beef stew and dumplings and corned beef and potato pies are very close to my foodie heart!

Sunday lunch is of course at the heart of that love too! A simple whole roast chicken is a thing of great beauty and is the star of so many Sunday lunches.

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!

This dish takes between an hour and half and an hour and an hour and 45 minutes, it uses a medium chicken (1.5-2kg) and includes the resting time.

Pan gravy poured over a roasted chicken Sunday lunch with all of the trimmings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you remove the wishbone?

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.

Don’t worry if you cannot be bothered, it does not have an impact on the cooking!

Do I really need a meat thermometer?

As far as I am concerned, yes. The key to roasting meat is hitting the right internal temperature. A meat thermometer ensures that you get this right every single time.

Why do you put butter between the skin and the breast meat?

It offers a layer of protection for the delicate breast meat and it bastes the chicken as it bakes. This means that the breast is less prone to drying out, it’s also the perfect way to add flavour!

How do I loosen the skin?

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!

Can I stuff the cavity?

I never stuff a bird because it has an impact on cooking time and makes it unpredictable.

Is resting important?

Yes, absolutely, in fact, it is every bit as important as any other part of the recipe, DO NOT skip this step.

Perfect Sunday roast chicken with roast potatoes and Sage and onion stuffing balls.

Serving Suggestions

Sunday roast chicken must be served with perfect roast potatoes although if I am feeling indulgent, I go for fondant potatoes.

I’m also fond of adding Yorkshire puddings, they ain’t just for roast beef as far as I am concerned.

Rather than stuffing the bird I also always make some sage and onion stuffing balls. You can roast them in the pan alongside the chicken.

When it comes to veggies I like green beans with almonds, miso Brussel sprouts or some glazed Chantenay carrots and buttered savoy cabbage or roasted savoy cabbage!

If you want something a little different how about this delicious vegetable crumble.

Finally, if you have leftovers, then you must give this simple leftover chicken soup a whirl it is wonderful!

Overhead roast chicken served with all of the trimmings as part of a Sunday lunch.

Equipment Used

I only recommend specific brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Oven.
  • Stovetop.
  • Roasting tin, if you are using an induction hob make sure that it is ok on an induction hob.
  • Fine mesh sieve.
  • Paring knife to remove the wishbone (optional).
  • Instant read meat thermometer.
  • Small-medium mixing bowl.
Perfect Sunday roast chicken dinner with all of the trimmings.
Yield: 4 Servings

Perfect Whole Roast Chicken Recipe with a Pan Gravy

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 and at the heart of the Great British or English Sunday lunch!


  • 1 Whole Chicken (1½-2kg)
  • ¾ Tsp Coarse Sea Salt
  • 50g (3 Tbsp + 1 Tsp) Softened Butter
  • 10 Sage Leaves
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme

For the Pan Gravy

  • 1½ Tbsp Flour
  • 250ml (1 Cup) Chicken Stock
  • Salt, To taste


  1. Remove the wishbone from the chicken (See the video in the Frequently Asked Questions section) then gently tease the skin away from the breast of the bird. It is easier to do that from the cavity end.
  2. Pick the leaves from the thyme and chop them with the fresh sage and add them to the softened butter with a quarter of a teaspoon of coarse sea salt.
  3. Dry the chicken inside and out as far as possible, then place the butter mix under the skin. Massage this butter so that it forms a uniform layer over the breasts.
  4. Season the cavity of the bird with the remaining salt.
  5. Place the chicken in a baking tray and then into a hot oven at 220ºC or 450ºF for 20 minutes.
  6. Then reduce the temperature to 180ºC or 350ºF and cook for a further 30 minutes per kilogram.
  7. Use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature of the bird before moving. You want a temperature of 68ºC or 155ºF.
  8. Tilt the bird when removing from the pan to allow any internal juices to run into the pan. Then allow the chicken to rest for 20-30 minutes.
  9. The 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 into 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 palace it over 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:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 482Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 160mgSodium: 585mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 43g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Brian Jones

Saturday 12th of May 2018

Thanks Ramona :)

Julie @ Running in a Skirt

Friday 11th of May 2018

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

Brian Jones

Saturday 12th of May 2018

You are far too kind thanks Julie :)


Friday 11th of May 2018

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.

Brian Jones

Saturday 12th of May 2018

Thanks Amanda, you can stuff all sorts under the skin this way too :)

Brian Jones

Thursday 20th of August 2015

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!

Brian Jones

Saturday 15th of August 2015

Thanks Sai, It certainly was tasty

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