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Roasted Stuffed Whole Chicken Recipe

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Stuffed whole chicken with crispy skin and moist, tender meat served with a delicious gravy made with pan drippings. This recipe is the perfect solution for a festive dinner for a smaller gathering.

carved chicken and cooked stuffing on a serving platter with lemons.

This roasted stuffed whole chicken recipe is an excellent alternative to a large roasted turkey for the holiday season. Perfect for a smaller family, easy to make, and economical, this dish will leave you completely satisfied.

A whole stuffed chicken recipe might sound intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but it’s actually very easy. Learn How to Roast a Whole Chicken; the post includes temperature and roasting time instructions based on the weight of a chicken, thus making the whole process even easier.

Stuff chicken with breadcrumbs, apples, and herbs for even more flavor, and serve it with that excellent gravy that’s ready in about five minutes.

Recipe ingredients

collage of two pictures of one raw chicken and the ingredients for stuffing in a bowl.
  • Whole chicken: The bird I had weighed 7.7 oz/ 3.5 kg. But the best thing about this roasted whole stuffed chicken recipe is that you can use the bird you have and calculate the roasting time accordingly.
  • Butter: Salted or unsalted butter; adjust the salt you use accordingly; take a bit less if using salted butter.

Ingredients for the stuffing:

  • Fresh white breadcrumbs. I always buy white bread, preferably but not mandatory, 1-2 days before cooking, remove its crust and process the bread pieces shortly in the food processor.
  • One egg.
  • One small apple and one small lemon.
  • Spices: Dried thyme, rosemary, parsley, sweet paprika powder, fine sea salt or Kosher salt, and ground black pepper. Alternatively, other dried, frozen, or fresh favorite herbs can be used.

Ingredients for the gravy: Pan drippings, low-sodium chicken stock, white wine, and all-purpose flour.

How to cook a whole stuffed chicken?

  • Salt the inside and the outside of the chicken and refrigerate it overnight. Ensure that you rub it well with salt and pepper, inside and outside, and under the wings (See Expert Tips).
  • Remove it from the fridge one hour before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven.
  • Roast chicken stuffing: Mix all the ingredients (1).
bowl with mixed stuffing ingredients for chicken.
  • Dry the skin with paper towels. Insert the stuffing mix into the cavity and tie the legs with kitchen twine. Weigh it once it’s stuffed to calculate the roasting time. Place it breast-side up into a roasting tin (2).
  • Melt 2 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and add the salt and pepper. Brush the bird with the mixture (3).
  • Add water and the squeezed lemon juice to the baking pan.
  • Roast the stuffed bird at a high temperature for 15 minutes.
  • Reduce the temperature and roast for the calculated time, basting every 15-20 minutes with the pan juices (4).
  • Let the chicken rest on a platter, loosely covered with foil.
collage of two pictures of stuffed whole chicken before and after roasting.
  • Make the gravy: Remove the excess fat from the tin. Scrape the bottom of the pan and pour the juices and any brown bits into a small saucepan. Add stock and wine and whisk in the flour. Simmer on medium heat until slightly thickened and lump-free.

How long does it take to roast a stuffed whole chicken?

The recipe instructs you to roast the stuffed bird at a high oven temperature of 430°F/ 220°C (fan-assisted oven 390°F/200°C), then lower the temperature to 360°F/ 180°C (fan 320°F/ 160°C) and continue cooking the stuffed chicken according to the time you’ve calculated considering the weight of the bird and its stuffing.

That is 20 minutes for 500 g/ 1.1 lb + an extra 15 minutes.

However! When it comes to chicken, giving the exact cooking time is a very tricky task. The cooking time depends not only on the size of the bird but also on your oven. Your oven might run hotter or colder, and you might not even know it because you are used to it.

You could check how your oven runs with a special thermometer, but still, the safest way to check if the meat is cooked through is to use an instant-read thermometer (Amazon affiliate link).

A thermometer will ensure that the meat you consume is safe to eat and that you don’t overcook it out of fear it might not be done yet.

Expert Tips

  • Salting the chicken and leaving it in the fridge overnight is not mandatory, but it’s a great thing to do. The salt will flavor the meat more deeply, imparting the skin and the meat more flavor.
  • Checking for doneness: Always ensure that poultry is cooked through before serving. The best way to check is with a digital meat thermometer; the internal temperature should be 165°F/ 74°C. Pierce the stuffed whole chicken into the thickest part of the thigh and check the internal temperature of the stuffing (it should be the same as the meat).
  • Carve: Place a large cutting board on paper towels that will stabilize the board and catch any running juices, thus making cleaning easier.
    • Legs: Cut the thighs at the joint with a large sharp knife. Separate them from the drumsticks by cutting at the joint between them.
    • Breast: Carve down the bone of each breast and remove them from the bones.
    • Wings: Separate the wings from the rest of the carcass by cutting at the joint.
    • Rests: Pick any larger meat pieces still hanging on the bones.
close up of crispy, golden brown roasted whole chicken.

Recipe FAQ

Should I wash raw chicken before cooking?

Never! According to the USDA, this step will only spread bacteria in your sink and surfaces. The only thing that kills bacteria is the heat during the cooking process.

How to keep the chicken moist?

Generously salting and then refrigerating the chicken helps a lot. Also, don’t forget to baste the chicken with the pan juices from time to time.

Is it a good idea to cook stuffing inside a chicken?

This can be tricky, as bacteria might survive in the stuffing. That is why it is so important to check that not only the meat but also the filling has reached a safe internal temperature before ending the cooking process.

Does stuffing increase cook time?

Yes, as instructed in this recipe, you have to calculate the cooking time, including the weight of the stuffing.

How to store leftovers?

Refrigerate the meat, the stuffing, and the gravy in different containers for 3-4 days.
Reheat in the oven. Place the pieces and the stuffing on a baking tray or roasting tray. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and reheat in the preheated oven at 350°F/ 180°C. Larger parts will need 20-30 minutes. If the meat is off the bone or shredded, check after about 10 minutes. The stuffing will also require less time; check after about 10 minutes.
Freeze the leftovers in separate airtight containers for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator and reheat before eating.
Reheat the gravy in a small saucepan or microwave. Add a splash of water or chicken stock if it’s too thick.

How to serve stuffed chicken?

What to do with leftovers?

pouring gravy with a spoon on carved roasted chicken pieces.

More whole roasted chicken recipes

Do you like this recipe?

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whole roasted chicken with filling on a platter.

Roasted Stuffed Whole Chicken Recipe

Stuffed whole chicken with crispy skin and moist, tender meat served with a delicious gravy made with pan drippings. This recipe is the perfect solution for a festive dinner for a smaller gathering.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course, Poultry
Cuisine: American, British
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 741kcal
Author: Adina

Equipment

  • Roasting tin
  • Small saucepan
  • Large, sharp knife for carving

Ingredients 

  • 1 whole chicken 7-8 lbs/ 3 – 3 ½ kg, Note 1
  • 2 ½ tablespoons butter
  • fine sea salt or Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup water 125 ml

Stuffing:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 small lemon 1 teaspoon zest, and the juice
  • 1 small apple peeled and grated
  • ¾ cup fresh white breadcrumbs 3 ½ oz/ 100 g, Note 2
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt or Kosher
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Gravy:

  • cooking juices
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup chicken stock 125 ml
  • ¼ cup white wine 60 ml

Instructions

Salt chicken:

  • Rub the chicken generously with salt and pepper in and outside. Place it in a roasting tin and refrigerate it overnight. Remove from the fridge 1 hour before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature.

Stuffing:

  • Preheat the oven to 430°F/ 220°C. If using a fan-assisted oven, preheat it to 390°F/200°C.
  • Cook onion: Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a saucepan. Add the finely chopped onion and cook it on medium-low heat, often stirring, until very soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Transfer it to a bowl and let it cool slightly while you peel and grate the apple, zest, and juice the lemon, and gather the remaining ingredients.
  • Make the stuffing: Add lemon zest, apple, fresh white breadcrumbs, one egg, sweet paprika, thyme, rosemary, parsley, salt, and black pepper to the onions in the bowl. Stir well to combine.

Prepare chicken for roasting:

  • Stuff chicken: Dry the chicken skin with paper towels. Fill the chicken’s cavity with the stuffing. Weigh the chicken after stuffing it (Note 3).
  • Tie the legs together with a kitchen string. Place the chicken breast-side up into a roasting tin.
  • Brush with butter: Melt 2 ½ tablespoons butter. Add 1 ½ teaspoon fine sea salt (or Kosher) and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper to the butter and mix well. Brush the chicken thoroughly with the butter (under the wings as well). There is no need to brush it on the backside.
  • Pour the water into the roasting tin and squeeze the lemon into the tin as well.

Roast stuffed chicken:

  • Roast the chicken for 15 minutes at a high temperature.
  • Reduce the temperature to 360°F/ 180°C (fan 320°F/ 160°C). Continue roasting the chicken according to the time you’ve calculated before basting the chicken with the cooking juices every 20-30 minutes (Tip – Notes 3, 4).
  • Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken and the stuffing are cooked through (165°F/74°C). Pierce the chicken with the thermometer tip into the thickest part and check the stuffing temperature.
  • Rest chicken: Transfer the chicken to a warm platter, cover it loosely with foil, and let it rest for 20 minutes before removing the stuffing and carving it. In the meantime, make the gravy.

Gravy:

  • Remove the excess fat from the pan using a large spoon.
  • Pour the cooking juices and the sediments accumulated at the bottom of the roasting pan into a small saucepan and add ½ cup chicken stock (125 ml) and ¼ cup white wine (60 ml).
  • Add 1 tablespoon of flour and whisk well.
  • Bring to a simmer on medium heat and constantly whisk for 1-2 minutes until the gravy is a bit thicker (not too thick, the sauce is relatively thin) and there are no flour lumps in your sauce (Note 5).
  • Adjust the taste with salt and pepper if necessary; it probably won’t be.
  • Carve the chicken (Note 6) and serve it immediately with the gravy and the side dishes of your choice.

Notes

  1. The chicken’s size can be smaller or larger than that, but you can easily calculate the cooking time.
  2. Breadcrumbs: I always buy white bread, preferably but not mandatory, 1-2 days before cooking, remove its crust and process the bread pieces shortly in the food processor.
  3. Calculate roasting time: 20 minutes for 500 g/ 1.1 lb + extra 15 minutes. Provided you cook the stuffed chicken for 15 minutes at a high temperature of 430°F/ 220°C (fan oven 390°F/200°C) and then at a lower temperature of 360°F/ 180°C (fan 320°F/ 160°C) for the calculated roasting time.
  4. The cooking time depends on your oven; some run hotter than others. To ensure you don’t overcook the chicken, check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer about 10-15 minutes before you might think it’s done. The internal temperature should be 165°F/74°C. Also, check it before the indicated roasting time is over; if the safe internal temperature is not reached, continue cooking the chicken, rechecking every 5 minutes until the bird is cooked through (Amazon affiliate link).
  5. Gravy: Should there be any lumps in the sauce, you can still save it by blending it shortly with an immersion blender.
  6. Carve the chicken: Place a large cutting board on paper towels that will stabilize the board and catch any running juices, thus making cleaning easier.
 
  • Legs: Cut the thighs at the joint with a large sharp knife. Separate them from the drumsticks by cutting at the joint between them.
  • Breast: Carve down the bone of each breast and remove them from the bones.
  • Wings: Separate the wings from the rest of the carcass by cutting at the joint.
  • Rests: Pick any larger meat pieces still hanging on the bones.

Nutrition

Calories: 741kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 256mg | Sodium: 543mg | Potassium: 638mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 754IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 3mg
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