Whole Stuffed Chicken With Gravy

Whole stuffed chicken recipe

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 70 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1790 Calories
94g Fat
54g Carbs
172g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1790
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 94g 120%
Saturated Fat 29g 146%
Cholesterol 586mg 195%
Sodium 1256mg 55%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 172g
Vitamin C 6mg 30%
Calcium 273mg 21%
Iron 11mg 62%
Potassium 1727mg 37%
*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. It's also not to be overlooked for celebratory dinners for smaller gatherings, or for those who want an alternative to the traditional turkey. Coated with butter and stuffed with bread, fresh veggies, and herbs, this chicken comes out moist every time. Roasted to perfection, the skin is crispy enough, and the meat is tender and juicy. Serve it with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce for a spectacular and easy-to-make family feast.

The base of the stuffing is breadcrumbs, but other ingredients can fit too as stuffing is a great way of adding favorite flavors and textures into the dish. Use your favorite herbs, additional vegetables, or different types of non-dairy milk if needed.

Leftovers of this lovely meal are amazing to make sandwiches, casseroles, soups, or salads.

1:30

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Ingredients

For the Chicken:

  • 1 (5-pound) whole chicken

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

  • Optional: Fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Stuffing:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, or poultry seasoning to taste

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, or 2 teaspoons dried parsley

  • 2 cups soft breadcrumbs

  • 2/3 cup milk, divided

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 large egg, beaten

For the Pan Gravy:

  • Drippings from the chicken

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose 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.

Prepare the Chicken

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for chicken
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck 
  2. Preheat 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. Gather the melted and cold butter.

    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 the optional fresh herbs. Sprinkle the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Set aside while making the stuffing.

    Tuck butter under skin
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prepare the Stuffing

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for stuffing
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Melt the 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-tender.

    Melt butter in a skillet
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Add the dried thyme, parsley, and breadcrumbs. Add about 1/3 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 of the remaining 1/3 cup milk, if needed, one tablespoon at a time to make a moist mixture. Remove from heat.

    Stir in beaten egg
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Stuff the Chicken

  1. Loosely spoon the stuffing into the cavity of the chicken.

    Spoon stuffing into cavity
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Close the cavity by sewing the loose skin together with toothpicks, or twine. Alternatively, 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. When done, the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh, away from fat and bone must read the minimum safe temperature for consumption of 165 F. The stuffing needs to have the same temperature reading.

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

Make the Pan Gravy

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for gravy
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Skim off the fat from the pan drippings, or use a fat separator. Reserve the fat.

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

    Add flour
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Put the reserved drippings in a 2-cup measuring cup and add enough chicken stock until you have 2 full cups of liquid.

    Put drippings aside
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Gradually stir the chicken stock mixture into the roux mixture. Continue cooking the gravy until thickened, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Gradually stir chicken stock
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Carve and Serve the Chicken

  1. Carve the chicken and serve with cooked stuffing and pan gravy.

    Carve chicken
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Is it Safe to Eat the Stuffing?

Yes. Eating the stuffing is safe as long as you carefully comply with these instructions:

  • Never stuff your chicken the night before. Harmful bacteria in uncooked chicken can leak into the stuffing and cause a variety of health issues.
  • 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.
  • Reheat stuffing leftovers to at least 165 F.

How to Store Leftover Chicken

To safely store cooked poultry:

  • Place the stuffing and carved chicken in separate containers.
  • Remove cooled leftovers to airtight containers within 2 hours of cooking.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.