Herb Baked Chicken with Gravy is what you make when you need to feed a crowd! It tastes and looks like your favourite roast chicken – except it’s far easier to make.
Easy to make loads, reheats JUICY and comes with an incredible fuss-free gravy for chicken. This recipe will be your lifesaver for upcoming holiday entertaining!!
Herb Baked Chicken
This is a chicken recipe that we made last weekend when catering a Christmas Lunch for my mother’s friends. Just 40 or so people! 😂 We were specifically after a chicken dish that met the following criteria:
- easy to make loads – can roast a double batch at the same time
- no advance preparation eg. brining or marinating
- simple to reheat in big batches – and stays juicy
- looks fabulous piled up on a platter – and tastes even better (of course!)
So we came up with this baked chicken recipe with a really terrific herb flavour, adapting slightly from this butterflied roast chicken from Serious Eats from which we took tips for how to make baked chicken as juicy as possible.
It’s so simple to make, I really urge you to consider making this fresh on the day because you’ll get a bonus CRAZY golden brown crispy skin – wait until you HEAR it in the video!
What you need for this Herby Baked Chicken
Remember I promised easy? I did not exaggerate! There are VERY few recipes on my website that call for zero chopping whatsoever – not even mincing garlic!
(PS In case you’re wondering, there is no garlic in this because it’s cooked at a high temperature which makes garlic burn. Burnt garlic = bitter = not very nice)
What type of chicken to use?
Use thigh and drumsticks for an easy option – this is what I opted for in the video.
Use butterflied/spatchcock if you want some breast meat as well the dark meat (thighs, drumsticks etc). Either cut your own (use scissors to cut down either side of chicken spine, open up and crack bone to flatten) or buy already butterflied. We butterflied out own chicken for the lunch because we knew some people would want breast.
This baked chicken is great for scaling up because you can roast a double batch at the same time!
How to make it
And here’s how to make this Herb Baked Chicken. The key in this recipe is patting the skin dry, just a BIT of oil and roasting at a high temperature which seals the juices in!
To clarify, you DO lose the crispy skin when reheated the next day. But it’s not unappetisingly soggy. And honestly? No one even thinks about crispy skin once they taste the gravy…..
Simple way to make Gravy for Chicken
Most of my traditional roast recipes call for gravy to be made using the roasting pan set on the stove. It usually involves man handling a large pan, setting it over a couple of burners and some sort of straining.
I skip all of that for this baked chicken recipe! I use my “simple” roast chicken gravy which merely involves:
- Scraping pan juices into saucepan – it slides right off the paper!
- Mixing in flour then whisking in chicken broth
Voila! An incredible gravy with an intense chicken flavour from all the fat / juices on the pan and hint of herby flavour!
Secret tip: how to make gravy brown
Gravy made with chicken broth is pale rather than a rich deep brown that we all know and want.
You can buy gravy browning liquids and granules specifically to deepen the colour of gravy. But the easier way to deal with it is to just add a tiny splash of dark soy sauce – as in 1/2 a teaspoon. Not only does it change the colour from pale to a rich brown (see Before and After below), it adds a touch of flavour too. Not Asiany at all, it’s just salty with extra flavour!
How to serve this roast chicken
If this chicken is part of a banquet or buffet, cut it into smaller pieces, like pictured. I cut the chicken thighs into half along the bone, and the breast into 3 pieces (from the butterflied chicken). Pile it all on a platter, plonk a few sprigs of parsley (for presentation!) and serve the gravy on the side.
I like how cutting up the chicken like this makes it look like a platter piled high with pieces of roast chicken – hence why I call this the easy way to make roast chicken!
What to serve on the side
Because today’s baked chicken recipe is one that I’m sharing with gatherings in mind, the side dishes I’m suggesting are things for a spread, as opposed to a family dinner for fewer people.
These are all also things that either don’t need reheating, or can be reheated at the same time as the chicken or by using the microwave. Practicality and deliciousness CAN co-exist happily, without compromise! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Crispy Herb Baked Chicken with Gravy
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil (or canola or peanut oil, NOT butter or olive oil, Note 1)
Choose ONE chicken (Note 2):
- 1.8 kg / 3.6 lb whole chicken, butterflied / spatchcocked
- 1.8 kg / 3.6 lb large chicken thighs with bone in, skin on AND drumsticks (mix)
Herb rub (Note 3):
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried sage (or 1/2 tsp ground sage)
- 3/4 tsp dried marjoram
- 1 tsp salt (coarse / kosher salt, OR 1 3/4 tsp sea salt flakes)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 cups (125ml) chicken stock/broth , low sodium
- 3/4 tsp dark soy sauce or gravy browner liquid
- Salt and pepper to taste
Fridge dry skin (optional, for extra crispy skin):
- Pat chicken skin dry with paper towels. Leave chicken in fridge overnight, uncovered, to dry skin out.
- Preheat oven to 240°C/ 465°F (220°C fan).
- Line tray with foil then baking / parchment paper, place rack on tray (Note 4)
- Mix Rub in a bowl.
- Pat chicken skin dry with paper towel.
- Drizzle with oil and rub all over, then sprinkle with Rub. Use hands to rub herbs all over the chicken, getting right into all the cracks and crevices. Place on rack.
- Thigh + drumsticks - Arrange thigh pieces skin side up, and for drumsticks the side with the most skin up.
- Butterflied/spatchcocked - Arrange breast side up, with tail end of chicken pointed back towards back of oven, and neck end closest to door.
- Thighs + drumsticks - roast for 35 minutes or until internal temperature is 75°C/165°F, or juices run clear when pierced in the middle.
- Butterflied/spatchcocked - roast for 45 minutes, or until internal temperature is: 66°C / 151°F for the breast AND 75°C/165°F when inserted into the joint between the leg and the thigh.
- Extra browning - if skin isn't browned/crispy enough, flick grill/broiler on high for 1 - 3 minutes. CAREFUL - browns super quick!
- Tent VERY loosely with foil (to preserve crispy skin) for 5 minutes.
- Scrape every bit of juice, fat and all the brown stuff off the tray into a saucepan.
- Turn stove onto medium. Once juices are bubbling, add flour and whisk to combine.
- Slowly pour in broth, whisking as you go.
- Add soy sauce or gravy browner and pepper.
- Continue stirring for 3 to 5 minutes - as it becomes steamy, gravy will thicken.
- Once it becomes a syrupy consistency (see video), remove from stove. Adjust salt to taste right at end, then pour into jug.
- Carve up the chicken as you would a roast chicken. Cut breast into 3 or 4 pieces. Cut thighs in half along the bone.
- Pile it all up onto a plate, garnish with parsley or other fresh herbs. Serve with gravy!
Life of Dozer
What I made using leftover fondant from Wednesday’s Christmas Cake. The poor snowman lost his torso 2 seconds after this photo was taken, with me screeching trying to get it out of Dozer’s mouth (“NO Dozer, too much sugar!!”) 😂