Sunday Roast Chicken With Apple and Herb Stuffing

Total Time
1hr 50mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins

With it's crisp skin, light, juicy stuffing of onion, apple, herbs, and lemon zest, and accompaniment of rich gravy,this is hard to beat!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 3 -5 sprigs parsley
  • 3 -5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 (3 1/2-4 lb) broiler-fryer chickens, with giblets reserved for stock (recipe follows)
  • 12 lemon, sliced (optional)
  • 12 onion, sliced (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened (or margarine)
  • Apple and Herb Stuffing

  • 2 tablespoons butter (or margarine)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cooking apple, peeled, cored, and grated
  • 1 cup fresh white breadcrumbs (or whole wheat, rye, etc.)
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 grated lemon, zest of
  • salt and black pepper
  • Gravy

  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1 14 cups giblet chicken stock or 1 14 cups vegetable stock


  1. Make the apple and herb stuffing: Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion, and cook gently for a few minutes, until softened.
  2. Remove from the heat, leave to cool slightly, then stir in the apple, bread crumbs, egg,parsley, thyme, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Leave to cool completely.
  4. Put the parsley and thyme sprigs into the cavity of the chicken, add the lemon and onion, if using, and season with black pepper.
  5. Truss the chicken if desired.
  6. Spoon the stuffing into the neck end of the chicken, secure the skin flap over the stuffing with a smalll skewer, and pat into a rounded shape.
  7. Put any leftover stuffing into a small ovenproof dish.
  8. Rub the softened butter over the chicken breast and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Place the chicken, breast side down, in a roasting pan.
  10. Cook in a 375* oven for about 1 1/2-2 hours.
  11. Turn the chicken over when lightly browned.
  12. Continue cooking, basting every 20 minutes.
  13. Cook any leftover stuffing with the chicken for the last 40 minutes of cooking time.
  14. Test the chicken: insert a skewer into the thigh-the juices will run clear when the chicken is cooked.
  15. Transfer to a warmed serving platter and keep warm while you make the gravy.
  16. Remove the stuffing from the neck cavity and transfer to a serving dish with any leftover stuffing.
  17. Carve the chicken and serve with the gravy.
  18. Gravy: Tilt the roasting pan, and spoon off all but 1 tbls.
  19. of the fat that rises to the surface, leaving behind the cooking juices.
  20. Put the roasting pan on top of the stove.
  21. Add the flour and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk or metal spoon to dissolve any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
  22. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the gravy thickens.
  23. Simmer for 2 minutes, then taste for seasoning.
  24. Strain into a warmed gravy boat and serve immediately.
  25. Giblet Stock: In a stockpot or large saucepan, cook the giblets until lightly browned.
  26. Stir in 1 quart water.
  27. Bring to a boil, skimming off any scum that forms on the surface.
  28. Add 1-2 quartered unpeeled onions, 1 chopped carrot, 1 chopped celery stalk, 1 bouquet garni, and a few black peppercorns.
  29. Simmer for about 1 hour.
  30. Cool, cover, and keep in the fridge for 3 days or freeze for 3 months.
  31. Strain before use.
Most Helpful

Tried this today and it was as good as it smelled baking in the oven! The skin was crispy and juicy. I think that is a good idea to bake it breast side down. I used a big roaster(6.5 lbs.). Perfect! Served it with mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts. Thank you for a winner!

Tiffany suarez November 24, 2002

This was incredible and should be called "To Die for Roast Chicken"! It deserves extra stars. I used a 7.5 lb. chicken (I buy them big because we have a big family :) and doubled the stuffing. Everything about this is great...the gravy, the stuffing and the chicken itself. Before I had this, roast chicken was a boring meal around here. Now I can't wait to have it again! I never roasted a chicken with the breast down, but I think this was the reason the breast meat was so moist when it is usually dry. I cooked it breast down for 1.5 hours and then flipped it over until it was done. My chicken was an oven stuffer roaster with a pop-up timer and I thought it might not pop after being upside down, but it did and the chicken was done to perfection...color gorgeous and skin crispy. The kids were not overly fond of the stuffing because of the lemon zing, but it was perfect for me and my husband. (By the way, I did not double the lemon rind when I doubled the stuffing). One thing that was odd...we did not taste any apple, but maybe that was just my apples (granny smith). Oh, and for anyone who is using a bigger chicken like me, I did not double the butter that was rubbed over the chicken. There was the perfect amount to cover and I think the butter is one of the reasons that the gravy is so good and a rich golden brown. I cannot thank you enough for sharing this recipe, was just awesome! I'll shut up now :)

Karen=^..^= November 14, 2002

Very lemony. otherwise ok. I would not include lemon the next time I make this. I would rather see the apple flavour shine through more.

A-lady November 15, 2009