Roast chicken and gravyReviewed by our expert panel
(at time of publication)
- 1 whole fresh or frozen chicken (choose the size to suit your family)
- salt and pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons plain flourall purpose flourX
- approx 400ml hot water, stock or the cooking water from the vegetables
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C. Make sure the chicken is fully defrosted, if frozen. Pat it dry with a piece of kitchen paper and place it in a roasting pan. Sprinkle the bird with a little salt and pepper and put it into the preheated oven.
2 You will need to baste the meat a few times as it cooks, use a large spoon and carefully spoon the hot pan juices over the whole chicken. This helps it to brown evenly and keep it moist.
3 When the cooking time is completed, pierce the plumpest part of the chicken’s thigh with a sharp knife and press the flesh firmly; check that any juice that comes out is clear. If the juice looks pink, cook the chicken for another 20 minutes then check it again. If you have allowed 20 minutes per 450g plus another 20 minutes, it should be fine.
4 Remove the chicken from the oven; cover with foil to keep it warm then let it rest for 10 minutes before you cut it up. This will allow the meat to relax, making it more moist and tender to eat.
5 Roast chicken is delicious hot or cold, serve with gravy or chutney, hot roast vegetables, mashed spuds or salad.
For the gravy
6 When the meat is cooked, remove it from the roasting pan and set it aside to rest. Place the pan on the stove-top and tilt the pan so the cooking juices and fat from the meat run down to one end. Spoon off all but about 2 tablespoons of the liquid.
7 Place the pan over the heat and when hot, sprinkle in 1-2 tablespoons of plain flour. Use a whisk to whisk the flour into the fat to form a thick paste.
8 Add a splash of the stock or water and whisk it quickly, then add some more liquid, whisking till smooth. Continue adding the liquid in this manner until all is whisked in and there are no lumps. Simmer the gravy, gently stirring continuously in circular motions over the base of the pan. If the gravy is too thick, add more liquid; if it’s too thin, simmer briskly for a minute or two.
9 Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Marinades and barbecue-style sauces will all add variety to a roasted bird, as will dry spice rubs or some liquid in the pan while the bird cooks – you could use stock, wine, or a combination.
- Chicken gravy can be a little pale and bland. If so, add 1/2 a teaspoon of soy or Worcestershire sauce. This will give it some colour and a little more savoury flavour.
- Rubbing the skin with butter before it cooks will make it extra golden and crispy but does add extra, unnecessary fat.
- Adding lemon or orange segments to the cavity inside the bird will help keep a big bird moist as it cooks, herbs and garlic will infuse flavour, and bacon strips placed over the breast of the bird will keep it moist and flavoursome.
- A traditional-style stuffing slows the cooking time down, add another 10-20 minutes.
Nutrition Info (per serve)
Total fat 13.8g
–Saturated fat 4.4g
Dietary fibre 0g
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