Two Whole Roasted Chickens (and Gravy)
Roasting two chickens at a time is brilliant because you have dinner for tonight and a second chicken that you can use to meal plan for the week.
We love whole chicken recipes from Instant Pot Whole Chicken to our popular Spatchcock Chicken. If you are a fan of rotisserie chicken with that crispy salty skin and juicy center, this recipe is a must-try!
Whole Roasted Chicken Recipe
We often buy the 2 whole organic chickens at Costco and roast them together. It doesn’t take much more effort or time for double roasted Chickens. P.S. Keep this in mind also for the holidays because Roasted Chickens look glorious on a Thanksgiving table.
Be sure to save those pan drippings for making the best chicken gravy. It’s the same concept we use for making turkey gravy and you’ll be amazed how easy it is to make a super flavorful pan dripping gravy.
When Buying Chickens: select ones that are fairly equal in size for even cooking so they are done at the same time. If you only have one in-oven temperature probe, put it into the larger chicken to ensure they are both fully cooked through to a safe temperature.
How to Roast 2 Whole Chickens
- Preheat oven to 425˚F with rack in the lower third of the oven.
- Slice onion – Line a large roasting pan with onion slices and drizzle with olive oil.
- Prep Chickens – Remove giblets from chickens and pat dry inside and outside with paper towels. Season inside each chicken with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper then stuff with 2 lemon quarters, 1/2 garlic head, and 2 sprigs of rosemary. Set chickens over onions, breast-side-up.
- Secure Chickens – Tie legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wings under the chicken so they don’t scorch.
- Brush with butter – melt butter and season each chicken generously with 2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Roast according to the time chart below.
Pro Seasoning Tip: Butter chickens one at a time and season immediately after adding melted butter. The seasonings will stick better before the butter firms up on the cold chicken.
Juicy Chicken Tip: Once the chicken is out of the oven, let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing into it. This allows the chicken to relax and reabsorb some juices.
How Long to Roast 2 Whole Chickens?
You should always check your chickens for doneness with a thermometer inserted into the deepest part of the thigh and make sure it reaches at least 165˚F and you should see the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and thigh. To be extra safe, we let the chicken go 5 degrees higher. Use this chart to estimate roasting times when baking two chickens at 425˚F:
- 2 Chickens (4 lbs each): Bake 1 hour 15 min to 1 hr 30 min
- 2 Chickens (4.5 lbs each): Bake 1 hr 30 min to 1 hr 45 min
- 2 Chickens (5 lbs each): Bake 1 hr 45 min to 2 hrs
How to Make Pan Dripping Gravy:
Just like with our Turkey Gravy, making a Chicken Gravy from pan drippings is so easy and will create the most flavorful gravy that is better than any powdered or pre-made gravy mix. We had just a little over 1 cup of pan drippings (after fat was removed), but the amount can vary
- Strain pan drippings through a fine sieve, discarding solids.
- Spoon off 4 Tbsp fat and add that to a small saucepan. Skim off and discard any remaining oil.
- Make a Roux – Place the saucepan over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp flour and whisk for 1 to 2 minutes until lightly golden.
- Add drippings – Add 1 cup of pan drippings and whisk until thickened and bubbling. Add about 1/2 cup water or milk, or to reach desired taste and consistency. Bring back to a simmer and remove from heat.
How do I roast 1 chicken?
If you are looking to roast a single chicken, check out our Juicy Roast Chicken and vegetable recipe for timing. A single chicken will roast a little faster than two.
What can I use the carcass or bones for?
Keep the chicken bones and carcass to make a rich and flavorful chicken bone broth.
Do I need a rack for roasting chicken?
Lining the pan with slices of onions serves as a ‘rack’ for the chicken while adding great flavor to the drippings for gravy.
What kind of roasting pan should I use?
Use a roasting pan that is large enough for 2 chickens to fit without being squished together. We use this Cuisinart large roasting pan.
We love to serve this as a main course with simple fresh salads and vegetable sides:
Two Whole Roasted Chickens + Chicken Gravy
We love roasting 2 chickens at once. It takes almost the same amount of time and you can enjoy one for dinner tonight and use the second for meal prepping the next few days.
Ingredients for Roasting 2 Chickens:
- 2 whole chickens (5 lb each) giblets removed, patted dry
- 5 tsp fine sea salt divided
- 2 tsp ground black pepper divided
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 1 large lemon quartered
- 1 garlic head halved crosswise
- 4 rosemary sprigs divided
- 2 medium onions sliced to 1/4” thick rings
- 1 tsp olive oil
Chicken Gravy – Optional:
- 4 Tbsp oil skimmed from pan drippings
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup liquid drippings
- 1/2 cup water or milk added to taste and desired consistency
How to Roast 2 Whole Chickens:
Preheat oven to 425˚F with a rack in the lower third of the oven (you want the whole chicken to be in the center of the oven).
Line a large roasting pan with onion slices, drizzle with olive oil.
Remove giblets from chickens and pat dry inside and outside with paper towels. Season inside each chicken with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper then stuff each with 2 lemon quarters, 1/2 of garlic head and 2 sprigs rosemary.
Place chicken over the onions breast-side-up. Tie legs together and tuck the wings under the chicken so they don’t scorch.
Melt butter and brush top and sides of chicken and immediately season each chicken with 2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Butter and season chickens one at a time so the butter doesn’t solidify making it difficult for seasoning to stick.
Bake at 425˚F for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size of your chicken or until the internal temperature at the deepest part of the thigh reaches 165˚F, and juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh.* Rest chicken for 15 minutes after it comes out of the oven before slicing and serving.
To Make Chicken Gravy:
Strain pan drippings through a fine sieve and discard the solids. The drippings sit for a minute and you’ll notice the fat will float to the top. Spoon off 4 Tbsp of fat and add that to a small saucepan. Skim off and discard any remaining excess fat on your drippings.
Place the saucepan with fat over medium heat then add 2 Tbsp flour and whisk to combine. Continue whisking for 1-2 minutes until lightly golden. Add 1 cup of pan drippings and whisk until thickened and bubbling. Add water or milk to desired taste and consistency. I added about 1/2 cup milk. Bring back to a simmer, whisking constantly then remove from heat.
*Bake according to the time chart. I like to let the chicken go 5 degrees higher to be safe when cooking a whole chicken. Estimated times for 2 chickens:
- 4 lbs each: Bake 1 hr 15 min to 1 hr 30 min
- 4.5 lbs each: Bake 1 hr 30 min to 1 hr 45 min
- 5 lbs each: Bake 1 hr 45 min to 2 hrs
Nutrition label is for chickens only and does not include gravy.