An easy peasy, stress free version of Classic Roast Chicken and Homemade Gravy that anyone can make…and only 10 minutes hands on time!
I am a huge fan of roast chicken. It’s one of those all time comfort food classics, which brings back happy memories of Sunday roast dinners as a child, and never fails to please my own little family when I make it now. It’s also one of those dishes that looks and tastes impressive…but is actually incredibly quick and easy to make.
Whilst the total time of this recipe is about 2 hours, the actual hands on active time is just 10 minutes. Giving you plenty of time to prep potatoes, vegetables and any other side dishes you fancy.
My favourite accompaniments to a classic roast chicken are roast potatoes – either my classic Easy Peasy Roast Potatoes or my new favourite Polenta Roast Potatoes – my Honey Mustard Roast Carrots and Parsnips, a steamed green vegetable or two, and my classic easy peasy roast chicken gravy (see recipe below), made from the delicious chicken juices…and I always like to have bread sauce with roast chicken too.
Alternatively, if you fancy an even quicker and easier roast dinner, you could serve this with buttered new potatoes and throw together a quick green salad just before the chicken is ready – this is an especially nice way to enjoy roast chicken on a hot summer’s day!
One of the problems with doing roast chicken and roast potatoes is that most recipes usually suggest you roast chicken at 180C (160C fan / gas mark 4 / 350F) and yet roast potatoes need to be done at 220C (200C fan / gas mark 7 / 425F) to get really crispy. Happily the solution is simple – roast your meat at 220C too! This has the added benefit of being quicker and making the skin even crispier. (Just take care not to burn the chicken skin – if you feel it’s cooking too quickly cover with foil.)
I also think that by cooking chicken at a hotter temperature, you not only get crispier skin, but you also get juicier meat as it hasn’t had a chance to dry out in the oven, as can often happen at a lower temperature.
One of the best things about a roast chicken dinner is the gravy. And making an easy peasy chicken gravy from scratch is very easy. Simply add a sprinkling of flour to the chicken juices in the chicken roasting tin and then add some chicken stock. Add in any extra chicken juices from the rested chicken and bring to the boil. Sieve if you want a perfectly smooth gravy and voila – proper homemade chicken gravy in under 5 minutes. (And it tastes waaaay better than the gravy granules stuff.)
I usually cook a 2kg (4.5 lb) chicken which serves approximately 8 people, depending on appetite. Given we are only a small family (2 adults and 2 small children, means we really only count as 3 people!), this means lots of leftovers – hooray!
Roast chicken leftovers are brilliant as they can be turned into so many delicious, but quick and easy midweek meals. Need some inspiration for your leftovers? Then check out this collection of 12 Easy Leftover Roast Chicken Recipes. There is something for everyone there, from Roast Chicken Curry to Roast Chicken Chilli, Roast Chicken Stew and Dumplings to Creamy Roast Chicken Pasta and much much more!
For me, the perfect wine to serve with roast chicken is a buttery, gently oaked chardonnay – especially a white Burgundy. Chicken and Chardonnay are such a classic match. Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier also work well. Alternatively, if you prefer red, then a lighter Pinot Noir or Grenache are good choices with roast chicken.
I have to admit to being a bit obsessed with safety when it comes to chicken – but the idea of food poisoning makes me very nervous so here goes…
Remember when handling chicken to be very careful to avoid spreading bacteria. Don’t wash your chicken (this can spread bacteria all around the sink), wash your hands every time you touch the raw chicken and wash any boards, utensils etc. that come into contact with the raw chicken. Ideally you should have a separate board for raw chicken, but if you don’t, just make sure you really scrub it clean with lots of hot, soapy water when you’ve finished.
Classic Roast Chicken and Homemade Gravy
An easy peasy, stress free version of Classic Roast Chicken and Homemade Gravy that anyone can make...and only 10 minutes hands on time! (Serves 6-8, depending on appetite)
Classic Roast Chicken
- 2 kg chicken
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 6 sprigs rosemary half roughly chopped, half left whole
- 1 lemon cut in half
Homemade Chicken Gravy
- Chicken juices
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ litre chicken stock
Classic Roast Chicken
Try to get the chicken out of the fridge about half an hour before you need it. This will allow it to come back up to room temperature and will mean the chicken will cook more evenly.
Preheat the oven to 220C / 200C / gas mark 7 / 425F While the oven is heating get your chicken out of its packaging and pop it on a board and snip off the little bit of string holding its legs together.
Wash your hands then sprinkle the chicken with a little salt and pepper, half the rosemary, the juice from the lemon and a good drizzle of olive oil. Rub the salt, pepper, rosemary, lemon juice and olive oil all over the chicken and then pop into a roasting tray.
Put the two lemon halves into the chicken's cavity, together with a couple of sprigs of rosemary.
Wash your hands (I told you I was obsessed!) and then put the chicken in the oven for 1h30.
When the time is up, check the chicken is cooked (see note) and put it on a board or a plate (I use a clean roasting tin to collect the juices) to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Homemade Chicken Gravy
Try to scoop out as much fat as possible from the roasting try so you are just left with the lovely chicken juices. (You could drizzle a few spoonfuls of the chicken fat on the roast potatoes for extra chickeny flavour, or just save it for another day.)
Put the roasting pan on the hob and sprinkle over the flour. Stir constantly, scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan. When the juices are bubbling and the flour is all incorporated, pour in ½ litre chicken stock and bring back to the boil. Add any juices from the resting chicken and then bubble for about 5 minutes and pour into a jug. (You can strain it through a sieve if you want a perfect liquid with no bits in it.) Easy!
Remember to make sure the chicken is properly cooked before the resting stage. To check if a chicken is cooked you can either use a meat thermometer (it should read 75C/165F), or you can you these three quick easy checks: first pierce the thickest part of the chicken with a sharp knife – the juices should run clear; second gently pull the leg, it should come away easily; finally check the flesh, there should be no pink bits. If in doubt put it back in the oven – it’s better to have a dry chicken than food poisoning!
Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Love Chicken? Check out my collection of Easy Peasy Chicken Recipes
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