Roast Chicken and Pan Gravy

This roast chicken and and pan gravy is seriously something we cannot get enough of. It’s got our heads spinning and everyone clamoring for more. Here’s how to make it.

Pieces of roast chicken wth a small dish of pan gravy and a halved lemon and bulb of garlic on an oval metal tray.

This comforting roast chicken and pan gravy is something you’re gonna want to make over and over and over again. It’s easy enough to throw together on a weeknight and elegant enough to impress dinner guests. And if a perfect roast chicken doesn’t scintillate you, the herb blend and pan gravy will keep you coming back for seconds. And thirds. Maybe fourths.Angie Zoobkoff

Roast Chicken and Pan Gravy

Pieces of roast chicken wth a small dish of pan gravy and a halved lemon and bulb of garlic on an oval metal tray.
This roast chicken and and pan gravy is seriously something we cannot get enough of. It’s got our heads spinning and everyone clamoring for more. Here’s how to make it.

Prep 45 mins
Cook 55 mins
Total 1 hr 40 mins
4 to 6 servings
888 kcal
4 / 4 votes
Print RecipeBuy the Big Food Big Love cookbook

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For the roast chicken

  • One (5- to 6-pound) whole chicken
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 5 oz small sweet onion quartered
  • 1 small head garlic top third cut off
  • 1 small lemon quartered
  • 1 bunch thyme

For the big herb blend

  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped rosemary leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sage leaves

For the pan gravy

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups store-bought or homemade chicken stock depending on how thick you want the gravy
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon store-bought or homemade hot sauce


Make the roast chicken

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  • Pat the chicken dry and reserve the giblets for another use or discard them. Place the chicken in a large cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven. Drizzle the oil evenly all over the chicken, rubbing it into the skin, and sprinkle it liberally with salt and pepper inside and out. Turn the chicken so it’s breast side down. Stuff the inside of the chicken with the onion, garlic, lemon, and thyme.

    TESTER TIP: If you can’t fit quite everything inside the chicken, just toss them alongside the hen and be sure to occasionally stir them during roasting.

  • Roast the chicken until the juices run clear when you cut into the thigh and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F (75°C), 70 to 80 minutes. (If you prefer, you can carefully flip the chicken with about 30 minutes left to brown and crisp the skin.)

Make the big herb blend

  • While the chicken is roasting, in a small bowl, combine the parsley, rosemary, thyme, and sage.

    TESTER TIP: The big herb blend makes an ample amount. You’ll be grateful when you discover the loveliness it lends to pretty much everything. Cover and refrigerate for up to several days and see how many uses you can come up for it. Sprinkle it liberally over grilled meats, poultry, or fish, stir it into roasted potatoes or steamed rice, fold it into an omelet, or use it however else you feel compelled.

  • Transfer the chicken to a plate to rest for 10 minutes while you make the big herb blend and pan gravy.

Make the pan gravy

  • Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the drippings from the roasting pan. Place the pan on the stove over medium-high heat, add the butter, and wait until the butter is bubbling. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until it turns golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Still whisking constantly, slowly add 3 cups stock to the pan. Bring the gravy to a simmer and cook until it’s thick and bubbly, 5 to 7 minutes. If it seems too thick, thin it with an additional 1/2 to 3/4 cup chicken stock.
  • Mix in 1/2 cup of the big herb blend, the Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper as needed.

Serve the simple roast chicken with pan gravy

  • Carve the chicken, discarding the onion, garlic, and lemon. Pour the gravy over the carved chicken or pass it on the side.
Print RecipeBuy the Big Food Big Love cookbook

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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 888kcal (44%)Carbohydrates: 29g (10%)Protein: 44g (88%)Fat: 67g (103%)Saturated Fat: 25g (156%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 28gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 204mg (68%)Sodium: 413mg (18%)Potassium: 920mg (26%)Fiber: 4g (17%)Sugar: 6g (7%)Vitamin A: 2534IU (51%)Vitamin C: 50mg (61%)Calcium: 150mg (15%)Iron: 6mg (33%)

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Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Is there anything better than a roast chicken? I think it’s one of my 5 favorite foods. But it can get a little boring. This recipe for roast chicken with pan gravy is anything but that—it was moist, full of flavor, tender, and, as a bonus, pretty simple to put together.

I made the herb blend earlier in the day so prepping the bird for the oven only took minutes. We roasted it for 70 minutes and it was perfection. (I did check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer before pulling it from the oven.) The gravy only took 5 minutes to make while the chicken rested and was rich and full of flavor. I did added some leftover chicken broth to the pan in addition to the drippings to get a pan full of gravy.

We got 4 generous dinners and 3 lunches from our chicken. We served the chicken and gravy with steamed new potatoes and a zucchini casserole. As for the the Big Herb Blend, ah well, what can I say. I used this to flavor the gravy and it was one of the best gravies I’ve made in a long time. I also used it to season the zucchini casserole that we make frequently during zucchini season to rave reviews. I used the last of the herb blend to season the butter for the new baby potatoes for our meal. It gave a whole new taste to something ordinary that we’ve had dozens of times. I’ve already put the herbs back on the shopping list to make this herb blend again next week.

While this recipe is quite standard for roast chicken, the big herb blend really makes it stand out. The herb blend made about 1/2 cup which I’ve been using on everything from eggs to roast salmon. The herb blend is almost used up now and lasted well enough for 4 days in the refrigerator. I will continue to make this to have on hand!

I purchased a 5.56-pound chicken and was unable to fit all of the lemon and onion into the cavity. I used 3/4 cup stock to make a slurry with the flour before whisking it into the drippings and remaining stock in order to avoid lumps that can occur when whisking flour into liquid for a pan gravy.

Originally published March 14, 2020


#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


    1. Amy, I’m sure you could. We didn’t test it that way, so we don’t feel comfortable giving suggestions, as there will need to be some adapting. But all is not lost. Here are the chicken recipes we have that can be made in a slow cooker.

  1. 5 stars
    I know I already reviewed this recipe as a tester, but that’s not going to stop me from posting again! I made this recipe using a capon on Christmas Eve to impress my family, and boy did it ever! My son, who dislikes anything green, initially turned his nose up at the gravy with all the herbs in it. We bribed him into trying a bite and his little eyes lit up! My parents begged me to make it for them the next time I visit. Such an amazing, simple meal that really takes you by surprise.

  2. It says to place the chicken breast side down and to stuff it. The next step regards roasting. Is it supposed to be roasted breast side down? It’s not clear in the recipe. I don’t usually roast my chicken that way.

    1. HI Dianah, I double checked with our testers and they both roasted their chickens breast side down. They said it produced a very moist bird. If you like crispier skin, you can turn the bird over and broil it for a few minutes to finish.

  3. 1 star
    I took a risk with this, thinking that 165 in the thigh would be undercooked, but it’s been a long time since I roasted a chicken and ignored by better judgement – and I wasn’t wrong. It was all pink and undercooked, especially in the breast meat. Roasted chicken needs a much higher cooking temp, more like 180 – 85 in the thigh/leg The dark meat was chewy. Even the garlics weren’t cooked through. I wound up cooking it a little longer in the pan gravy, but couldn’t save it from culinary hell. Just awful. A big waste of ingredients.

    1. Al, that’s very odd, as we have always cooked chicken to 165°, and they’re perfect. Even the USDA guidelines specifies 165°. Two thoughts: 1.) Have you tested your thermometer? Sometimes they need calibrating, or can be wrong. The way to test it is to bring a small pot of water to a boil. It should read 212°. And 2.) Was the thermometer position in the thickest part of the thigh? If, say, it was 165° 3/4 of they way in, then the thicket part would indeed be lower and the bird would be underdone.

  4. I’ve got a giant package of chicken thighs. I’m making this today – though I’ll have to use dried herbs. I’ll reconstitute them in a little olive oil. Can’t wait!

      1. 5 stars
        Since I haven’t tried it with fresh herbs, I have no frame of reference, but it was very good! I put slices of lemon on top of the chicken before baking & they caramelized nicely. When my herbs come up in my garden, I’ll try it again.

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