The Best Roast Chicken and Gravy

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

I love roast chicken, but it can be so variable. The worst thing is flabby skin or dry meat, so I've played around and come up with this method which works best for me. Lovely crispy skin, succulent meat--mmm! Cooking times vary depending on the size of the chicken, the type of oven etc, so be sure to do a test to make sure it's fully cooked before removing from the oven, using one (or all!) of the following methods: •Using a thermometer, probe the middle of the thigh meat and make sure it's 170°C. •Wiggle the leg - it should move easily in its socket. •If the cavity is empty, tip the bird and ensure the juices run clear. If you want, you can make variations by adding different ingredients. My favourites are sliced garlic pushed under the skin (without tearing it!), or sprigs of thyme with slices of lemon.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Slather the bird with butter, season the cavity and sprinkle the skin *all over* with generous amounts of salt. This will help the skin crisp.
  3. Place the bird on a rack over a roasting tin. If you have a V-shaped rack, this is the best, as it raises the chicken even higher. This will allow the entire bird to cook evenly and the skin to crisp all over.
  4. Place the bird in the hot oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 375F for the rest of the cooking time (this initial blast of heat helps the skin crisp with less splatter).
  5. Depending on the size of the chicken, and the oven, the remaining cooking time will probably be between 40 and 60 minutes. Check regularly using the methods above.
  6. Once fully cooked, remove from the oven. Drain the cavity into the roasting pan, then put the chicken to one side, propped with its backside up, in a warm place for 10-15 minutes. This resting allows the juices to resettle - propping allows the juice to flow into the breast - and is the most important part of the process.
  7. Meanwhile, place the roasting tin on a medium heat on the hob and add half the white wine to deglaze the pan. Make sure you scrape in all the lovely caremelised bits which have stuck to the pan during the roasting.
  8. Once the pan has been deglazed, add half the stock and reduce until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Taste and add the remainder of the wine and stock, or a little more of one than the other if you prefer (wine adds depth and stock adds body) then reduce again.
  9. Taste the gravy and season as required.

Reviews

(1)
Most Helpful

Wow! great chicken & so simple. True to your word - the skin was crispy & the meat tender. I love the idea of inverting the bird to rest so the juices flow to the breast. I put sprigs of thyme under the breast skin & my family all commented on how wonderful it was. Great no fuss meal. 1st of 3 reviews for PAC 2010

Catherine Robson April 10, 2010

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