Classic roast chicken & gravy

Classic roast chicken & gravy

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(65 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 1 hr, 30 mins Plus resting


Serves 4
What more can we say? The classic roast chicken is something everyone should know and can always save the day

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal567
  • fat40g
  • saturates13g
  • carbs4g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre0g
  • protein49g
  • salt0.84g
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  • 1 onion, roughly chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 carrot, roughly chopped



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 1 free range chicken, about 1½ kg/3lb 5oz



    Chicken's many plus points - its versatility, as well as the ease and speed with which it…

  • 1 lemon, halved



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • small bunch thyme (optional)


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

For the gravy

  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 250ml chicken stock (a cube is fine)


  1. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Have a shelf ready in the middle of the oven without any shelves above it. Scatter the vegetables over the base of a roasting tin that fits the chicken, but doesn’t swamp it. Season the cavity of the chicken liberally with salt and pepper, then stuff with the lemon halves and thyme, if using. Sit the chicken on the vegetables, smother the breast and legs all over with the butter, then season the outside with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and leave, undisturbed, for 1 hr 20 mins – this will give you a perfectly roasted chicken. To check, pierce the thigh with a skewer and the juices should run clear. Remove the tin from the oven and, using a pair of tongs, lift the chicken to a dish or board to rest for 15-20 mins. As you lift the dish, let any juices from the chicken pour out of the cavity into the roasting tin.

  2. While the chicken is resting, make the gravy. Place the roasting tin over a low flame, then stir in the flour and sizzle until you have a light brown, sandy paste. Gradually pour in the stock, stirring all the time, until you have a thickened sauce. Simmer for 2 mins, using a wooden spoon to stir, scraping any sticky bits from the tin. Strain the gravy into a small saucepan, then simmer and season to taste. When you carve the bird, add any extra juices to the gravy.

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Comments (82)

palacecontracts's picture

Great first time ever done a roast dinner. Turned out perfect. Used olive oil instead of butter and covered with tinfoil for the first hour as it was a 2kg bird. Beautiful :-)

kiwibird's picture

Just enough butter to moisten the bird Bowdenei - It should be soft enough to run over the breast, legs etc. You can also drizzle and rub olive oil over it (plus salt and pepper) if you prefer.

bowdenei's picture

Am making this now BUT it doesnt say how much butter to use or even mention butter in the ingredients!!!!

rctransport's picture

Really nice and easy to do , great for first time gravy makers.

jenny-wren's picture

I love this website and literally have a look at it every day - all the recipes work great but i just had to comment on this one... PERFECT!!! I've never roast a chicken before but i go through at least one rotisserie chicken from the supermarkets every week, so decided to have a go myself... It was brilliant! My chicken was 1.9kg so i just left it for 10mins longer - also it doesn't say how much butter to use but i just melted an amount i thought would coat the chicken nicely and it came out wonderful!
Also i poured a little honey over the veg before putting the chicken on top...this was an absolute revelation!! I have never tasted anything like it - it was like sticky, gorgeous nectar - 10/10!

Sakura Sunshine's picture

Very tasty and easy to make with very useful tips.

d41d0y's picture

Very simple recipe. Always turn to this when I forget how much cooking a chicken needs.

samwhyte's picture

Very nice! Needed to use a small roasting tin so the veg all sat underneath the chicken so they juices come out and they don't burn, but it was very easy and everyone enjoyed it.

thmeera's picture

Very Tasty and Simple!
Left out the lemons, because the gravy became lemony tasting..
Still cooks very well :D

lollyparsnip17's picture

This Recipe is awesome! The chicken tasted superb and the carrots were cooked to perfection. Never cooked one before but this was so easy to do!! Will be cooking it again soon!! Anyone know the timings for a larger chicken?

dumdumgirl8's picture

I have never cooked a whole chicken before but I tried this recipe and it came out perfectly! Will be using this again.

maisylou's picture

Wasn't sure if you were meant to cover the chicken, but last time I roasted a chicken uncovered, the veg were incinerated and the stock tasted burnt. This time I used an oval pyrex and lid, and was delighted with the results.

Re gravy, I think you would need to skim off the fat from the stock or your gravy would be very greasy. I strained the stock, popped in a few ice cubes and spooned off as much fat as possible. Then I boiled up the stock and added 2 tsp of bisto mixed in a little water, as I like the taste!!! Not for everyone, I know.

sieboy's picture

Brilliant recipe! I always use this method now.

truleedelicious's picture

A-MAZ-ING! I've spent years basting and turning and watching and waiting and NO NEED. This was the most delicious roast I've ever tasted which may have been owing to the gravy. Never ever again will I use granules....

bendji's picture

Super easy, has worked out perfectly every time I've tried it. I usually add some whole cloves of garlic and some other root veg like squash or parsnip. Delicious.

jmilligan09065's picture

Wow just realised I commented on the wrong recipe.. oops! Never tried this one but highly recommend the foolproof slow roast chicken!! lol.

jmilligan09065's picture

An Amazing recipe.. highly recommend!! Just learning to cook and made this for my boyfriend and his parents last weekend.. so many compliments. I whacked the oven on to high while the chicken was resting and the potatoes crisped up really well, and had loads of flavour from the herbs. Absolutely delicious. Served it with veg and my first attempt at Yorkshires (Best Ever Yorkshire recipe from this sight.. perfect). Will definitely use this again.

andycrofts's picture

One thing that amuses me...
In the cooking instructions, it usually says something like "25 minutes/kilo and 15 minutes over"
So are they saying it takes 15 minutes to cook a chicken that weighs nothing???

Sorry, I'm a flippant engineer...

amalfi2007's picture

Very nice, used free range chicken and was very succulent.

littlemissysunshine's picture

This was the perfect roast chicken, succulent and with a hint of lemon. I also added a few cloves of crushed garlic.


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