Roast Chicken {and Homemade Chicken Gravy}

October 26, 2018

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Roast Chicken and Chicken Gravy are two must have recipes everyone should have in their recipe box! Knowing how to roast a chicken is a game changing kitchen skill. It’s a breeze to do and you’ll love the end result!

Roast Chicken

What You Get with This Recipe

With this simple recipe you get moist, tender chicken with a perfectly browned skin and plenty of drippings for gravy. Because if we are going to roast a chicken we might as well make gravy too, right?

You can use this chicken in countless recipes or of course it’s delicious eating it freshly carved.

I used to be one that would only reach for chicken breasts but now I’m finding I love the thighs too, this recipe makes the best chicken thighs.

It’s back to basics with this recipe. Simple ingredients, straightforward method, minimal tools, incredible end results.

Roast Chicken Video

 

 

Roast chicken with mashed potatoes, gravy, and steamed veggies.

Ingredients You’ll Need for the Chicken

  • Whole chicken
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Garlic
  • Yellow onion
  • Fresh herbs including thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley (buy the blend)
  • Butter

Ingredients You’ll Need for the Gravy

  • Pan drippings remaining after roasting chicken
  • Low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • Cornstarch
  • Heavy cream

Roast Chicken

How to Roast a Chicken

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Trim of excess fat from chicken and remove any pin feathers that may be left behind.
  • Remove giblets from center of chicken. Dab chicken well dry with paper towels.
  • Rub a cast iron skillet with a little vegetable oil then transfer chicken to skillet.

Roast Chicken

  • Season inside cavity with salt and pepper then stuff with garlic cloves, onion wedges and herbs.
  • Rub butter all over chicken and season with salt and pepper.
  • Tie chicken legs together and fold the wing tips back and tuck under chicken.

Roast Chicken

  • Cook in oven until thigh registers 165 and breast register 160.
  • Let chicken rest 10 – 15 minute before carving.

Roast Chicken in cast iron skillet

Can I Use a Smaller or Larger Chicken?

You can use a smaller or larger chicken here (no smaller than 4 lbs no larger than). 6 lbs is ideal because it will give you more drippings for gravy and it takes longer to roast than say a 4 lb chicken so you’ll get a browner skin.

Cook Times for Different Sizes (at 425 degrees). As always test for doneness:

  • A 4 lbs chicken should take about 60 minutes
  • A 5 lb chicken should take about 75 minutes
  • A 7 lb chicken should take about 105 minutes

What if I Don’t Have Kitchen Twine?

I haven’t tested these alternatives yet myself but I’ve heard these are good substitutes:

  • Dental floss
  • Several strands of thread (enough that will hold it sturdy)
  • Aluminum foil rolled into a rope-like shape

Do I Need a Thermometer?

For best results I highly recommend a kitchen thermometer. It takes out the guess work and you aren’t ending with an under-cooked or over-cooked chicken. No one wants to get sick and no one likes dry chicken.

You can purchase one for as little as $8 (I just bought THIS ONE).

To test the temperature stick the thermometer into the thickest part (but not touching the bone) of both the inner thigh and breast meat. Thigh should be 165 degrees and breast 160.

Roast Chicken

What if I have a Glass Cooktop?

If you can’t use the cast iron pan because you have a glass cooktop then I recommend using an oven safe stainless steel skillet, or a small stovetop safe stainless steel roasting pan.

What Can I Make with Leftover Chicken?

Perfect Recipe for Weekdays or Even Holidays

I love that this recipe is easy enough you can make it on a weeknight but it’s fancy enough you can serve it on holidays.

If you are cooking for a small group this Thanksgiving don’t buy a big turkey, just make this instead.

Roast chicken and chicken gravy

How to Make Chicken Gravy

  • Remove any large pieces of skin that may have stuck to skillet and discard.
  • In a mixing bowl or liquid measuring cup whisk together 1/4 cup of the broth with cornstarch, set aside.

Roast chicken and how to make chicken gravy in a cast iron skillet

  • Heat skillet over medium-high heat and scrape up browned bits from bottom of pan, pour in 2 3/4 cups chicken broth.

Roast chicken and how to make chicken gravy in a cast iron skillet

  • Bring mixture to a simmer then whisk cornstarch mixture once more and pour into skillet.
    Season with salt if needed and pepper.
  • Cook mixture, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 1 – 2 minutes. Stir in heavy cream. Serve warm over mashed potatoes and chicken.

Roast chicken and how to make chicken gravy

How do I Get the Skin Perfectly Browned?

In my oven cooking for 1 1/2 hours yields perfectly browned skin but every oven is a little different so here’s a few tips.

  • If the chicken skin isn’t browning to your like (by about 1 hour it should be fairly golden brown), try moving the oven rack up one level. Or broil just briefly near the end but keep a close eye on it!
  • Every oven cooks a little differently (every climate is a little different etc) so if at any point you notice the skin is browning too much simply layer a sheet of foil over the chicken.

Roast Chicken and Chicken Gravy

What Should I Serve with This?

Roast Chicken
5 from 7 votes

Roast Chicken {and Chicken Gravy}

An easy, straightforward, perfect Roast Chicken recipe. Yields flavorful, moist, tender, chicken and nicely browned skin. Also includes recipe for a rich and creamy chicken gravy that pairs perfectly with homemade mashed potatoes.
Servings: 7
Prep20 minutes
Cook1 hour 40 minutes
Resting10 minutes
Ready in: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 (6 lb) whole chicken
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced into halves (so you'll use 2 quarters)
  • Fresh poultry herbs, see notes
  • 2 Tbsp butter, well softened
  • Vegetable oil for skillet

Gravy

  • Pan drippings remaining after roasting chicken
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth or homemade chicken stock, divided
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 - 4 Tbsp heavy cream (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Trim of excess fat from chicken (found near neck and cavity) and remove any pin feathers that may be left behind.
  • Remove giblets from center of chicken (discard or reserve for another use). Dab chicken well dry with paper towels (this helps it brown better).
  • Rub a cast iron skillet with a little vegetable oil then transfer chicken to skillet, breast side facing upward.
  • Season inside cavity with salt and pepper then stuff the cavity with garlic cloves, onion wedges and herbs.  
  • Rub butter all over chicken (focus especially on the upper breast side) and season all over with salt and pepper.
  • Tie chicken legs together with kitchen twine and fold the wing tips back and tuck under chicken.
  • Roast chicken in preheated oven until thigh registers 165 and breast register 160, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Transfer chicken to a carving board or platter (leave drippings in pan). Tent chicken with foil and let rest 10 - 15 minutes before carving.
  • Meanwhile for the gravy remove any large pieces of skin that may have stuck to skillet and discard.
  • In a mixing bowl or liquid measuring cup whisk together 1/4 cup of the broth with cornstarch, set aside.
  • Heat skillet over medium-high heat and scrape up browned bits from bottom of pan, pour in 2 3/4 cups chicken broth.
  • Bring mixture to a simmer then whisk cornstarch mixture once more and pour into skillet. Season with salt if needed and pepper.
  • Cook mixture, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 1 - 2 minutes. Stir in heavy cream. Serve warm over mashed potatoes and chicken.
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy

Notes

  • I like to buy the package of poultry herbs and parsley. So I usually use 1 - 2 large sprigs thyme, 1 sprig rosemary, 1 sprig sage and about 3 parsley sprigs. Use what you have or you can even omit the herbs all together. They just add light flavor.
  • Nutrition is including fat and calories from chicken skin and fat. Unfortunately I'm unable to calculate the info without it if you aren't eating that portion.
Nutrition Facts
Roast Chicken {and Chicken Gravy}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 454 Calories from Fat 297
% Daily Value*
Fat 33g51%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 154mg51%
Sodium 192mg8%
Potassium 464mg13%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A 425IU9%
Vitamin C 4.3mg5%
Calcium 31mg3%
Iron 1.9mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.