I love cooking a roast chicken – or any roast for that matter – especially with homemade gravy. I get a little perplexed that a lot of people my age are completely ignorant when it comes to proper gravy. Gravox or powdered gravy isn’t gravy. It’s gross. Plus, after you’ve put in hours of care to make the perfect roast why wouldn’t you put all those delicious pan juices to good use?! I think a roast chicken is one of the easiest things in the world to make, and this method ensures that the meat stays super tender and juicy every single time. Yes, I’ve cooked probably close to a hundred chickens like this (or so it feels) and I’ve never had one turn out anything but perfect. So all you young people who can’t make gravy – here is your chance. It’s easy. It’s delicious. You’ll never eat any other kind of gravy other than home made again. Promise!
I often cook this recipe on a weekend and can get about 8 portions from a whole chicken. I usually freeze the leftover shredded meat in single-serve portions in zip-lock bags…this way I have shredded roast chicken on hand for other recipes or leftovers.
– 1 large raw chicken (about 2kg)
– 1 cup chicken stock
– 2 medium brown onions
– Olive oil
– Salt & pepper to taste
– 8 sprigs of rosemary
– 4 – 5 cloves garlic
– vegetables to serve
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp butter or fat skimmed off top of roasting juices
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
2. Wash chicken in cold water (to remove any juices/bits that stick in package). Make sure you thoroughly wash the inside cavity.
3. Pat down with paper towel to dry and stuff the inside cavity with rosemary and garlic.
4. Chop onions into 1cm thick slabs and lay in a roasting dish.
5. Rub whole bird with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
6. Lay chicken BREAST SIDE DOWN on the layer of onions and pour in the chicken stock.
7. Place roasting dish in oven and cook for required time, turning the chicken over halfway through – so the chicken is now the right way up. (Cooking time – I allow 30 mins/500g – seems to work out every time as long as you allow enough resting time once cooked).
8. Once chicken is cooked remove from tray and rest BREAST SIDE DOWN – this allows all the juices to run into the breast, making it super moist and juicy – and covered in foil. Rest for approximately half an hour prior to serving.
9. Tip all roasting tray juices into a tall mug/bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. You’ll be able to see all the fat sitting on top of the juices. Skim fat off top and discard (I usually place some paper towel into a bowl and tip the fat in there and then put in bin – much better than tipping it down the sink!).
10. Heat pan on stove top and add butter/roasting fat. Add flour and cook for 1 minute.
11. Add remaining roasting juices to flour mix and whisk until smooth. Cook on low for 5-8 minutes, adding water until you get the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To serve – serve roasted chicken with preferred vegetables and top with gravy.