Roast chicken with herb stuffing and gravy

27 August 2009
I haven't cooked chicken for years. I stopped eating meat for many years only to start again after reading Nourishing Traditions. So in my quest for frugal and tasty meals, I came back to roast chicken. This is one of the easiest meals you'll ever cook but it can be made fancy enough for a celebration dinner, or simple enough for a chicken and salad sandwich. Chicken is very versatile.

The main thing you have to be careful of is drying the chicken out while cooking it. So don't overcook it, take it from the oven as soon as it's done and let it rest wrapped in foil for 20 minutes before carving.

I like to stuff the cavity with a herb stuffing. The herb can be anything you have growing or have bought, I used:
  • 3 slices of stale bread (any type of bread is fine)
  • 1 medium onion
  • a handful of parsley
  • a few leaves of sage
  • sprinkle of dried oregano - dried oregano has a different taste to the fresh and it goes well with chicken
  • 2 small eggs or one large egg

Put all that in a processor and whiz it up or chop it very finely.

To stuff the chicken:
Clean your chicken well by removing the gizzards and running water through the bird. Wipe dry with a kitchen cloth or paper towel.

Using a spoon or your clean hands, load the stuffing into the cavity.

When the cavity is full, separate the skin from the breast and slip a spoonful of stuffing under the breast skin. That will help keep the chicken moist while it's roasting.

I forgot to do this - tuck the legs under the chicken so they cook close to the body. Otherwise the legs will overcook at the ends like they have here.

Place the chicken in a roasting dish with a little olive oil and brush the chicken with oil to keep it moist. While it is cooking, baste the chicken with the juices that have collected in the pan. This will also give you a moist chicken.

Cook on 190 - 200C (370 - 390F) until the chicken is golden brown and the juices run clear. You can test this by inserting a sharp knife in between the breast and the leg and watch the juices come out. If they're pink, cook another 10 minutes. If clear, remove the bird and cover with foil to rest.

I served this with roast potato, pumpkin, corn and onion and a from scratch gravy.

Chicken Gravy
  • Remove the chicken from the roasting pan. You want the bottom of the pan just covered with juices and oil.
  • Add two level tablespoons of plain (all purpose) flour to the juices, along with salt and pepper to taste and stir it together. It should look like a loose paste. If it's too dry, add a little more olive oil.
  • Place the pan over a medium heat and allow the paste to turn brown while you stir it. Stand there and watch it because it will burn quickly if you don't.
  • As soon as it's a nice brown colour, add about 2 cups of water OR chicken stock OR a splash of white wine and water and immediately stir the gravy to stop lumps forming.
  • Stir until the gravy boils and thickens and then turn it down. Keep stirring until you have a nice brown sauce for your chicken. If it's too thin, allow it to sit on the heat to evaporate off some of the liquid.
Leftovers can easily be used. We had chicken salad the next day with this chicken and I made my sandwich for work using some of the chicken as well. But you could also make chicken stir fry, chicken curry, chicken pie or chicken casserole with dumplings. Don't forget to keep the carcass to make chicken stock or coup.


  1. Rhonda, I'm getting hungry just looking at that roast chicken. I appreciate the homemade gravy recipe too.

  2. Lovely post, thank you. We had a chicken today, but I cooked it in the slow cooker all day and the meat is so tender, it just melts in your mouth. It is a great way to cook a chook, so to speak, and I use the leftovers to make a pie the next day, so no guessing what's on the menu tomorrow.


  3. Looks & I bet it tasted wonderful! If ya don't mind me did you feel eating chicken again after all those years? I too have had the experience of not eating meat for a time, mainly cause I couldn't phantom eating an animal cause I love them too much! *sigh*...BUT none the less I do enjoy the taste of meat...and therefore I am a "meat" eater to this day.
    Anyway...thanks for the informative always do a great job!*smile*

  4. Wow. . . . There is NOTHING - and I mean NOTHING - as delicious and satisfying as roast chicken. So, I love your post today!

    Having roast chicken is a treat from beginning to end: the smell of the roast, the herbs, the meal itself, and the bones (used shortly thereafer, or frozen for later use) which I use for lovely chicken soup w/ vegetables.

  5. Shelagh C. in HoustonAugust 27, 2009 6:43 am

    Looks good Rhonda but I'm a vegetarian.

    Hope it wasn't one of your "girls".

  6. I 'm drooling. I so enjoy your posts and look forward to every one. Blessings to you :))

  7. Hello ladies!

    Diane, chicken was the last meat I came back to. I resisted until now but it felt okay.

    Shelagh, no, it was not one of our little ladies. :- )

  8. Would you share your chicken salad recipe? We had chicken and dumplings the other day with lots of leftover chicken. I wanted to make a chicken salad but had no idea what to put in it. Thanks so much.

  9. Oh my goodness...I want to eat that. I love to roast chicken...I'll slip some fresh sage, fresh garlic cloves and some lemon slices under the breast skin and it does wonders to keep it moist and flavorful!

  10. Lovely chicken, Rhonda....and meant to say lovely picture of you on your homepage too!
    You look so soft and pretty!
    Like that lip color on you!
    You don't have to post this if you don't want to...just wanted to say that you took a great pic!
    Donna in New Mexico

  11. Looks good enough to be an American Thanksgiving dinner!

  12. Ach, after raising hens, I can no longer bring myself to eat them. Roosters perhaps...

  13. Hope there are leftovers, I am on my way!

  14. Roasting the chicken must be my favorite way of cooking chicken..esp with potatoes, carrots and gravy..oh yum. And I sure do like the leftovers and the different dishes I can make. Hmm..time to roast a chicken again I think!

  15. I love roast chicken and dressing and of course turkey and dressing at Thanksgiving! Here in the southern United States we add crumbled cornbread to our dressing along with a few slices of white bread dried out in a warm oven. Other than that the recipe is much like yours with a little parsley, sage and poultry seasoning. My grandmother always added fresh oysters to her dressing. I love it anyway! V.

  16. Wow, Rhonda! That looks delicious! Roast chicken is one of my favorite comfort foods. I've never put stuffing in a bird, but your recipe and instructions make it look easy. I usually fix my chicken in the slow cooker, but I think I'll roast it next time.

  17. Looks scrumptious, but who is Herb?

  18. I took a tip from Nigella's turkey story, and soaked my last chicken in water with the juice of a lemon added for an hour or two, then drained, stuffed, and roasted it - divine !! Somehow the soaking makes the flesh sooooo succulent - Twan, South Africa

  19. Im gonna cook this one on my birthday! Getting hungry.

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  21. Like Twan I'm experimenting with brining poultry. So fare only good results.

    Rhonda - this all looks so scrummy. You've even served it with my 2 favourite roasted veg - potatoes and pumpkin. A roasted chicken drives my cat crazy twice - once during the roasting and then again when I make stock.

    Confess I also freeze bones and skin from cooked chicken pieces until I have enough for a stock-cook-up.

    Care and kind wishes, Michelle in Wellington and my Zebbycat

  22. We just LOVE doing roast chickens! When they go on sale, we grab one or two of the little roasters for only a couple dollars each, which is perfect for two people. It supplies us with one filling and warming meal, then we save some of the gravy with the leftover chicken for a night of chicken and gravy over homemade bisquits, make a delicious stock out of the picked carcass, and usually have just enough chicken left over for a nice chicken soup (with fresh stock of course). Of course we could always use it for sandwiches for the week, but one small roaster can last us several delicious meals for very little cost. I'm convinced that a roast chicken is every frugal home's best kept, loved, and enjoyed secret!

  23. Roast chicken is one of my favorite meals..can't wait for the colder weather to turn on the oven...

  24. This looks absolutely delicious! Thanks for posting and the great idea to stuff the cavity with herbs.

  25. Don't let your chooks see that! lol!

  26. This sounds so yummy! I think I've only roasted one chicken in my of my fears!

    Here in the States, pumpkin is mainly used for pies or carving. Very few people cook it as a savory dish. I know Down Under, you look to it as a vegetable. do hope you'll share recipes for it sometimes.

  27. Being Scottish I can't have a roast chicken with without skirlie!

    It's another incredibly healthy addition to a meal that we Scots are famous for! Please note the sarcasm!

    It's just a mixture of oatmeal, onion and we use duck fat if we've had a duck and saved the fat, traditionally suet is used.

    Oh it's delicious!

  28. Rhonda
    What has happened to Ambrosia Designs?? They had such a good product - I emailed them a while ago and have had no response, and I see they have disappeared off your site. Bummer.
    Thanks, yet again, for all your info and all you do.



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