This is my favorite, basic recipe for no-fuss whole roasted chicken, which I’d adapted from a few roast turkey recipes … yeah, that’s not a typo … it is indeed based on roast turkey recipes. 🙂
I call it basic as the chicken is simply seasoned with salt & pepper. What makes this a great recipe is that it is very versatile … to shake things up, you can use any seasoning or marinade you’d want instead of just salt & pepper. If using a marinade and you want the meat to soak up the flavors of the marinade, let the chicken marinate in the fridge overnight.
But for a quicker prep, just season the chicken (with your choice of herbs, spices, seasonings, oils and/or liquids) and let it sit at room temperature for half an hour before popping it in the oven. Or just go with the simple salt & pepper.
Roast Chicken with Pan Gravy
Adapted from Roast Turkey with Pan Gravy recipes in Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook 14th Edition page 478, The Professional Chef 8th Edition page 559, Betty Crocker Cookbook 2005 page 410
Prep: 15 min
Roast (Fan-Assisted): 1 hr for 2 lb/1 kg whole chicken
Oven: 355°F (180°C)
Stand: 15-20 min
2 lb chicken (1 kg)
1 tsp salt
0.5 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 red onion, quartered
3 stems parsley (flat (Italian), curly (English) or coriander (Chinese) leaves)
2 Tbsp olive oil
10 baby potatoes (or 3 waxy potatoes, quartered) (~1 lb or ~500 g)
3 carrots, medium (~1 lb or ~500 g), cut into 1.5″ sections
4 stalks celery, cut into 1.5″ sections
4 red onions, small (or 2 red onions, large, quartered)
~1 cup water or chicken stock (as needed) (224 mL)
1 Tbsp butter (unsalted) (optional)
1 Tbsp plain flour (optional)
salt (to taste)
black pepper, freshly ground (to taste)
1. If chicken is frozen, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator and cook the chicken within the next day. Alternatively, submerge the chicken (in a sealed water-proof zip-lock/plastic bag) in cold tap water, changing the water every 30 minutes until thawed (changing the water at least once), and cook the chicken immediately after thawing.
2. Heat oven to 355°F (180°C).
3. Rinse the chicken body cavity and pat dry with paper towels. Allow chicken to stand for 30 minutes to come to room temperature.
4. Season the cavity & skin with salt & black pepper. Place the quartered onions & parsley stems in the cavity.
5. Rub the skin with the oil.
6. Twist the wing tips under the back.
7. Place the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan.
8. Cover the breast with a trapezium of aluminum foil.
9. Place the pan in the preheated oven with legs in first and roast the chicken in the 355°F (180°C) oven for 20 min.
10. Toss the potatoes, carrots & onions with a dash of salt and pepper and a bit of olive oil.
11. Scatter the potatoes, carrots & onions around the chicken (in a single layer as much as possible, close to the chicken to absorb the chicken’s drippings). Remove and discard the aluminum foil covering the breast. Continue roasting for an additional 20 minutes.
12. Turn the potatoes, carrots & onions around to coat them with the chicken’s drippings and add the celery around the chicken. Continue roasting for an additional 20 minutes.
13. Remove the chicken from the oven, remove the chicken from the pan onto a serving dish, cover with aluminum foil and let it rest for 15-20 min.
14. Remove the vegetables onto another serving dish and keep them warm.
15. Stir ~0.5 cup water/chicken stock into the pan and cook over low heat, scrapping the bottom of the pan to deglaze it.
16. Pour off the sauce from the roasting pan through a sieve/strainer into a pan or pot.
17. (Optional) Add 1 Tbsp of butter into a small pot, slowly heat until melted. Stir 1 Tbsp flour into the butter and cook over low heat, whisking constantly until the roux mixture is smooth & bubbly. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in the sauce. (Omit this step # 17 if you prefer not to thicken the sauce.)
18. Gradually stir in enough water/chicken stock to the gravy/sauce to make up ~1 cup of gravy/sauce.
19. Heat gravy/sauce to boiling and continue to boil for 1 min, whisking constantly. Season to taste with salt & black pepper, and serve the gravy/sauce warm with the chicken and vegetables.