Whole Stuffed Chicken With Gravy

Whole stuffed chicken recipe

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  • Total: 90 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 70 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1480 Calories
84g Fat
43g Carbs
130g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 1480
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 84g 107%
Saturated Fat 30g 148%
Cholesterol 483mg 161%
Sodium 873mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 130g
Calcium 244mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A well-seasoned stuffing and a simple pan gravy make our whole roasted chicken a great holiday meal or celebratory dinner. Coated with butter, stuffed with fresh veggies and herbs, and roasted to perfection, this chicken is ready in under two hours; serve with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce for a spectacular yet simple feast.

Our stuffing is made out of breadcrumbs, but your favorite ingredients can go in there, too. Replace our suggested herbs with the ones you like the most, and use already-seasoned breadcrumbs if it's more convenient.

Use any leftovers of this lovely meal to make sandwiches, casseroles, soups, or salads.

1:30

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Ingredients

  • For the Chicken
  • 1 (5-pound) whole chicken
  • 2 tablespoon butter (cold, divided)
  • Optional: fresh herbs (like thyme, rosemary, sage)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • For the Stuffing
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup celery (chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme (crumbled, or poultry seasoning to taste)
  • 2 tablespoon fresh parsley (chopped, or 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes)
  • 2 cups soft breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • For the Pan Gravy
  • Drippings from the chicken
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken stock

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this roasted whole chicken dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and roasting.

Prep the Chicken

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for chicken
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck 
  2. Heat the oven to 375 F. Line a roasting pan with foil and set a rack in the pan.

    Set a rack in the oven
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Melt one tablespoon of the butter and cut the rest into small pieces.

    Melt butter
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Using your hands or a brush, rub the chicken with the melted butter.

    Rub chicken with butter
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Tuck the pieces of cold butter under the chicken's skin along with some fresh herbs, if desired.

    Tuck butter under skin
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep the Stuffing

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for stuffing
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Melt a 1/4 cup of butter in a skillet or sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the chopped onion and celery. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and the celery is crisp.

    Melt butter in a skillet
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Add the dried thyme, parsley, and breadcrumbs. Add about 1/4 cup of milk and stir to blend. Taste and season the stuffing with salt and pepper.

    Add dried thyme
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Stir in the beaten egg and enough additional milk, one tablespoon at a time, to make a moist mixture. Remove from heat.

    Stir in beaten egg
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Loosely spoon the stuffing into the cavity of the chicken.

    Spoon stuffing into cavity
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Close the cavity by sewing the loose skin together with twine or cover the cavity with a piece of foil or a slice of bread.

    Close cavity of chicken
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Roast the Chicken

  1. Place the chicken, breast-side up, on the rack in the roasting pan.

    Ingredients for chicken
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Roast the whole chicken in the preheated oven for about 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes, basting several times with the pan juices. The internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh, away from fat and bone, and in the center of the stuffing, must read the minimum safe temperature for consumption of 165 F.

    Line roasting pan
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Once cooked thoroughly, remove from oven and let chicken rest for about 15 minutes.

Make the Pan Gravy

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for gravy
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Pour the drippings into a fat separator, or pour them into a bowl and skim off the fat. 

    Make pan gravy
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Put three tablespoons of fat back in the roasting pan, reserving the remaining drippings for the next step. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Cook, stirring, for two minutes.

    Add flour
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Put the separated drippings in a 2-cup measure and add the chicken stock for a complete 2-cup mark.

    Put drippings aside
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Gradually stir the chicken stock and drippings into the roux mixture. Continue cooking until thickened, stirring constantly. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as desired.

    Gradually stir chicken stock
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Carve the chicken and serve with cooked stuffing and pan gravy.

    Carve chicken
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

For a Beautiful Whole Chicken

For a memorable dinner, always keep in mind to:

  • Never remove the stuffing from the chicken before it has reached a safe temperature of 165 F. The chicken must remain in the oven until the stuffing reaches that temperature even if the chicken itself has passed the 165 F reading. Insert an instant-read thermometer into the center of the stuffing to ensure it has reached the safe temperature.
  • Remove the stuffing to a serving bowl after the chicken has rested.
  • Remove cooled leftovers to shallow containers within 2 hours of cooking. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. 
  • Reheat leftovers to at least 165 F.