Roast chicken with chestnut stuffing and gravy

Make sure your roast chicken is extra juicy with this simple stuffing and perfect gravy from Rachel Allen, ideal for Sunday lunch
By Rachel Allen
Roast chicken with chestnut stuffing and gravy
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 30 mins cooling time
  • Effort: easy


For the stuffing

  • 25 g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 100 g white breadcrumbs
  • 150 g peeled chestnuts, lightly toasted and chopped
  • salt, and black pepper

For the chicken

  • 1 whole chicken, (about 1.5kg - 2.25kg)
  • 15 g butter, softened

For the gravy

  • 15 g butter, softened
  • 15 g flour
  • 600 ml chicken stock


1. For the stuffing: melt the butter in a saucepan with the olive oil, then add the onion and garlic and stir to coat. Place a circle of greaseproof paper directly on top of the vegetables, then cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 8-10 minutes or until the onions are softened but not browned.

2. Remove from the heat, then stir in the rosemary, breadcrumbs and chestnuts. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside to cool.

3. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

4. For the chicken: spoon the cooled stuffing into the chicken cavity and place the chicken in a roasting tin. Smear the butter over the skin and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast in the oven for 1 ½ - 1 ¾ hours (allowing about 20 minutes per 450g), basting occasionally, until crisp and golden and cooked through. If the skin begins to look quite dark during cooking, cover the chicken with some foil or parchment paper.

5. To check whether the chicken is fully cooked, stick a skewer into the thigh with a spoon placed underneath to catch the juices, the juices should run clear. Also, the legs should feel quite loose on the bird. When cooked, transfer the chicken to a warm serving plate and leave to rest, covered with foil, in the oven set to its lowest temperature, while you make the gravy. Set aside the roasting tin and any juices for the gravy.

6. For the gravy: first make a roux by melting the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat then stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

7. Place the chicken roasting tin directly over a medium heat and pour in a little of the chicken stock to deglaze, stirring with a wooden spoon and scraping any sticky bits from the bottom of the tin. Pour the contents of the roasting tin into a gravy separating jug and drain off and discard the fat. Alternatively, pour into a heatproof bowl and add a handful of ice cubes. After a few minutes when the juices have cooled down, the fat will float to the surface and can be easily removed with a spoon.

8. Pour the remaining juices into a clean saucepan with the rest of the chicken stock. Bring to a boil over a medium-high heat then whisk in the roux, a little at a time, and continue to boil for 2-3 minutes to thicken very slightly. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and keep warm. When ready to serve, strain the gravy through a fine sieve into a warm gravy boat or jug.

9. Serve the chicken with the gravy and some vegetables on the side, such as parsnip purée.

Occasion: Autumn, Christmas, Dinner party, Easter, Mothers Day, New Year, Spring, Summer, Winter
Cuisine: British
Cooking method: Roasting
Diet: None
Course: Main course

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