Go Back
+ servings
close up golden and crispy chicken for thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Chicken Recipe (with Gravy)

Try our Thanksgiving chicken recipe for this year’s holiday feast! This juicy chicken with crispy skin is an excellent alternative to turkey, perfect for smaller gatherings.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken for thanksgiving, chicken thanksgiving dinner, thanksgiving chicken, thanksgiving chicken recipe, thanksgiving roast chicken
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
1 day
Servings 4 -6
Calories 878kcal
Author Adina



  • 1 chicken 6 lb/ 2.7 kg Note 1
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt or Kosher salt Note 2
  • 3 tablespoons oil canola, sunflower Note 4


  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt or Kosher
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary


  • 3 clementines or mandarins Note 5
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 3 fresh rosemary sprigs divided


  • pan juices
  • 1 ½ cup chicken stock or broth preferably low-sodium
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour


Salt the chicken:

  • Remove the giblets from the bird (Note 6).
  • Rub the chicken with salt all over, inside and outside, under the wings as well.
  • Refrigerate uncovered for 24 hours.

Prepare for roasting:

  • Remove from the fridge about 1 hour before roasting to allow it to come to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 480 degrees Fahrenheit (250 degrees Celsius). Line a roasting tin with aluminum foil.
  • Pat dry with paper towels (inside and outside) to remove the excess salt and moisture.
  • Season: Rub the bird thoroughly with 3 tablespoons of oil, inside and outside. Mix another ½ teaspoon fine sea salt with ½ teaspoon ground black pepper and 1 teaspoon dried rosemary. Rub with this mixture all over, inside and outside.


  • Wash the clementines with hot water, dry well. Halve two of them and quarter the third one.
  • Cut the unpeeled garlic bulb horizontally.
  • Stuff cavity: Place the clementines halves in the cavity. Add garlic and fresh rosemary sprigs.
  • Tie the legs of the chicken with kitchen string, tuck wing tips under the chicken.


  • Place chicken into the prepared roasting tin. Add remaining clementine quarters and rosemary sprig.
  • Roast for 15 minutes at 480 degrees Fahrenheit (250 degrees Celsius).
  • Reduce temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) and continue roasting until cooked through; it took me another hour and 30 minutes.
    The roasting time depends very much on the size of the chicken; if your bird is smaller, don’t overcook it! Start checking with a digital meat thermometer after one hour already and keep checking until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius).


  • Rest: Allow the chicken to rest on a warm platter for 10 minutes before carving. Make the gravy in the meantime.
  • Cook: Pour the pan juices into a small saucepan, add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  • Thicken: Whisk in the flour. Bring to a boil while whisking continuously and simmer for 2-3 minutes on low heat until thickened.


  • Carve: Remove the string and the stuffing. Carve the chicken. Serve with gravy, mashed potatoes, and roasted or cooked vegetables.


  1. This is a large chicken suitable for Thanksgiving. Choose a smaller one and adjust the roasting time accordingly.
  2. If using table salt, you will need a bit less, about 1 ½ teaspoon. Salting and leaving the chicken in the fridge for 24 hours is optional but recommended.
  3. Don’t use butter or olive oil for this recipe. The chicken will be cooked at a high temperature first, so that you will need oil with a high smoking point.
  4. Two clementines for stuffing the chicken, one for adding to the roasting pan. Use organic ones.
  5. Use leftover roasted bones and the giblets that might have been in the cavity of the chicken to make chicken stock. The leftover bones can be frozen for future use, but if the giblets come from a defrosted bird, don’t freeze them again. Instead, roast them in the pan with the chicken, remove them after about 30 minutes, let them cool and then freeze them.


Calories: 878kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 64g | Fat: 61g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Monounsaturated Fat: 28g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 248mg | Sodium: 655mg | Potassium: 824mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 462IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 4mg