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)

Shona321's picture

Delicious, lovely moist meat and really tasty. I also made Barney's Yorkshire Puds (on this website) to go with this and they were a success!

thommich's picture

Also added some garlic to the roasting pan. Very good, makes delicious gravy. Looking forward to the sandwiches with the leftovers!

ShivyDevon's picture

Gorgeous! The most gorgeous gravy I have ever had with a roast chicken! The meat is tender and very tastey also.

fuzzygirl's picture

Fantastic and easy!!! I added some small halved potatoes to the veg, and used a few small shallots instead of onion. Put a bit of butter and rosemary on the veg, and rosemary inside the chicken as well. It turned out amazing, and the gravy was also excellent. Will add garlic suggested by Lynsay K next time. Maybe you could link to the how-to on carving a roast chicken? I'm useless but learning.

lynsaykennedy's picture

I have never made a successful chicken gravy until now. This was so easy with amazing results if I do say so myself (live on my own so no one to back me up!) Added some garlic cloves to chicken cavity for a bit of extra flavour. Yummy.

abbie5603's picture

WOW!! Absolutely delicious and so easy to make. I have never before attempted to make my own gravy because it seemed too difficult but this recipe made it a cinch. Everyone gave rave reviews even my 3 yr old son who cleared his plate. Only change I may make next time is to add more veggies to the roasting pan because the carrots and onions were devine.
Will probably have requests to make this every week from now on!

v6en31's picture

This recipe never disappoints, so succulent. I like to use a Tesco's finest chicken and also their finest goose fat roast potatoes. :P

michelleharman's picture

Fantastic results with this recipe using 2 free range chickens for 7 people. Am doing it again this Sunday for just 4 and 1 chicken so hope it comes out as well again. The gravy was also really tasty and well worth the small amount of effort.

clairvaughan's picture

Lovely! I used olive oil rather than butter (saving that for the spuds!) and it was just so tasty - and easy. I'm really no great miracle worker in the kitchen (making gravy usually scares me a bit as it can be so hit and miss) but my brood all loved this.

hermionesheldon's picture

Very delicious. Made it in the morning and had it cold. Didn't do the gravy though (token effort to Weightwatchers) - just used granuels.

thesaladdodger's picture

Excellent easy to follow recipe which produced the best chicken I have tasted. The lemon worked a treat. I seasoned mine with parsley& garlic salt and mixed cracked pepper. Will try Hawkeye's method which sounds good. Suggest we have a whip round for a new oven for Baskerville.

hawkeye5033's picture

I'd have to say that Baskerville probably needs to invest in an oven thermometer. It's a common fault with ovens today that the temperature on the gauge doesn't match the temperature in the oven. This is a fairly foolproof way of cooking a chicken.

Another tip is to make a butter stuffing with thyme, garlic, chopped parma ham and lemon zest. Mix it all in with the butter and put it UNDER the skin rather than over it. Beautiful!!

kirstythecook's picture

First time I've done a roast chicken without following "packet instructions" and it turned out beautifully!

denisebrise's picture

This recipe has plenty 5 stars and raving comments, but I just couldn't resist. My chicken was bigger than the one recommended, but worked out the cooking time ratio and turned out perfect, too. I added the veg when there was about 1 hour cooking time to go, to avoid it getting too dry. Definitely worth investing in a juicy organic free range chicken for this recipe!

jenk82's picture

Another fab recipe from this site. I halved the carrots lengthways and cut into 2" pieces, also popped in some chunks of potato. I was a little worried that the veg would be dry so added a splash of water. Everything turned out perfectly. Moist breast meat, crispy skin, soft veg and the gravy was so easy peasy too.

soulgirl's picture

This is the most fantastic roast chicken ever!. It works perfect and comes out amazing each time.

icelesley's picture

So easy to do with excellent results. The lemon adds an extra flavour to the gravy too.

simongarner's picture

Sorry but this was one to pass up.

I cooked this dish just as the method suggests, it soon became apparent that the veg was burning and the chicken was browning far too quickly on the outside, I reduced the heat and lowered the chicken to the bottom of the oven but still the veg was turning to a burnt mess, after cooking for the alloted time I removed the bird to try and save any juices, there was very little to go at and the veg had to be thrown away, what gravy was left had a very fatty residue and that also had to be thrown away.
I quickly realised that this dish would only be ok if the bird was enclosed in a pyrex dish with a stock cube, then the gravy could be removed after cooking and then the bird returned to the oven and basted with butter to allow the skin to be crisped.

For anyone like my family who prefer gravy I don't think this method works.


annemarie20's picture

Perfect!!! Really impressed my boyfriend's parents - I looked like a pro!

joff01's picture

Such a simple recipe with great results!


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