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Perfect Roast Chicken with Home Made Gravy

I love a perfectly roasted chicken, with crisp skin and moist meat, it is one of lifes great pleasures. But frequently that is not what you get when you take the bird out of the oven. We have all been there, you search the internet last minute looking for the cooking times for a chicken but it never quite turns out right, online cooking times I have used frequently seem to leave the bird either dry and overcooked or undercooked and slightly raw. So I decided to experiment with several chickens to find the perfect cooking times and temperature to roast a bird. A nice way to add some extra flavour is to put some rosemary and garlic inside the bird while it cooks, but this is optional, it will taste great either way. I have also included instructions on how to make a delicious gravy (gravy making instructions can work with any type of roast meat)


For the chicken

1 chicken

Roughly chopped onions, celery and carrots, enough for the chicken to sit on

2 tablespoons rapeseed oil

salt and pepper to taste

4 garlic cloves, whole (optional)

1 sprig rosemary (optional)

For the gravy

250ml white wine

250ml chicken stock

3 Tablespoons cornflour

1 Shallot, finely chopped

1 teaspoon english mustard

25g butter

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: Depends on weight, see below

Serves: Depends on weight, for every 400 - 500g of whole chicken, you will feed one person, for an example a 1.8kg chicken will feed about 4 people with generous portions


  1. Before starting, heat your oven to 180c

  2. Get a roasting tray and create a bed for the chicken with the roughly chopped vegetables and whole garlic cloves

  3. Coat the chicken with the oil, add salt and pepper and rub in with the oil (how much salt is a personal preference, but at least a pinch)

  4. Place on the bed of veg and put cook uncovered in the oven for 20 minutes for every 450g of weight (so a 1.8kg would roast for 1 hour 20 minutes, 1.5kg for 1 hour 6 minutes etc) Make sure to baste with the chicken juices in the tray every 15 - 20 minutes

  5. Remove the meat to a separate dish and let rest for at least 10 minutes covered in tin foil, a good rule of thumb is 1 minute per 100g. Don't seal the meat in the tin foil, just mostly cover it so it can breath). The reason for resting is that if you carve immediately, you will lose quite a lot of the meat juices. Allowing the joint to rest allows time for the meat to absorb these juices which were released during the cooking process.

  6. While resting the meat, get your shallots frying on a low heat in a small saucepan with the butter while you undertake the next few steps, keep an eye on them and don't let them burn

  7. Get your roasting tray with the veg still inside and place it on the hob over a medium heat (no need to transfer to a pot yet)

  8. When it is hot an bubbling add the wine and let reduce by half

  9. Add the stock and let simmer for another couple of minutes

  10. Place a sieve over the saucepan with the shallots and pour all of the liquid through it into the saucepan. You can discard the veg or save it to make stock later.

  11. Add the mustard to the gravy and give a good stir

  12. Combine the cornflower with a little water so it is absorbed, and add to the gravy, one tablespoon at a time, stirring after each spoon, until thickened. You may not need all of the mixture or you may need to use more, keep an eye on the gravy and follow your gut instinct

  13. The Chicken and Gravy are now ready to serve

  14. Enjoy!

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