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Sauce to serve with roasted chicken other than pan sauce or gravy?

I love roasted chicken, but SO has requested perhaps a different sauce out of the usual pan sauce or gravy. Roasted chicken is so great on its own, but I think a play on the traditional might be nice. Do you have any favorite sauces?

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  1. What are you thinking to serve it with? Maybe something like a pesto cream sauce or a chimichurri type thing...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Violatp

      I'll likely just serve it with roasted asparagus so any sauce should work. These all sound like great ideas!

      1. Start with a veloute using your chicken drippings and make a mushroom sauce, maybe with some Marsala.

        6 Replies
            1. re: monavano

              I think this is the winner for tonight becuase I'm a mushroom freak and love Marsala. However, I've never made a pan sauce. Do I just pour of the most of the fat from the drippings, add butter and mushrooms to the fond and saute, then add broth, wine? Do I need flour to thicken?

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                You make a "veloute" basically the same way you make a bechamel or "white sauce", only using stock (like chicken stock) in place of the usual milk. In this case you could sub in a bit of Marsala in place of some of the stock, & fold in previously sauteed mushrooms.

                If you have a basic general cookbook on hand, it should be able to give you basic amounts & instructions.

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  You could use a little flour, as Bacardi said, or you could reduce the sauce by cooking it on medium high heat till it's thickened up some.
                  And yes, pour off some of the fat first, if there's too much of it. A couple tablespoons is enough to leave in the pan.

              2. I love a dijon cream sauce, but my husband hates mustard, so I often serve pesto, chimichurri or another herb-based sauce with roasted chicken. I like it with tzatziki, too, or a tahini-based sauce. You can also add pretty much anything you like to a "pan" sauce - for instance, I like to deglaze with white wine, reduce, then add a little creme fraiche and chopped herbs. Still a pan sauce, but elevated.

                2 Replies
                1. re: biondanonima


                  That's the second little gem I'm plucked from you today. I have never done anything with tahini but make hummus. Care to expound on that sauce idea a little? Please.

                  1. re: ItalianNana

                    I usually just improvise something with tahini, lemon juice, a little water, garlic, herbs etc. to taste, but here is a recipe from Epicurious that is a good starting point: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                    I rarely use as much oil as that recipe calls for, though, and I like to add a bit of yogurt, usually, for some extra creamy tang.

                2. While not a sauce per se I loved hot pepper jelly with roast chicken.

                  Raita is also nice with roasted poultry. As is chimchurra.

                  I make a nice apple gravy. Its great with roast chicken, roast turkey breasts and with pork. I sauté onions and chopped apples in the drippings, add about 4 TBS of apple cider vinegar, scape up any brown bits and let that cook down until it is syrupy. Then add about a cup/ cup and half of chicken broth and let that reduce by half. Remove from heat, taste for seasonings and add S&P as needed and then whisk in some butter. Really good!

                  In terms of making a traditional pan sauce I think you could do a twist using different flavors/spices. Lemon/dill or lemon/tarragon would be nice.
                  Maybe a balsamic reduction with shallots?

                  1. You could go traditional British and make a bread sauce.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Savour

                      I've never heard of it, but Google tells me it's a sauce thickened with bread (duh!). Do you have a favorite recipe to prepare it?

                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        I've used this one. It's kind of across between sauce and stuffing, with a similar flavor profile.


                      2. re: Savour

                        Good call, bread sauce is wonderful! I love it the next day when it has solidified and can be cut into squares. But to me it needs gravy and redcurrant jelly too.

                        1. re: Savour

                          I never make bread sauce apart from at Christmas, but I don't know why not because it's unexpectedly lovely with chicken and turkey.

                        2. This mustard orange sauce from Chow was very good: http://www.chow.com/recipes/30560-ora...

                          Also, this chipotle glaze was very tasty... I'm sure you could convert it for a whole chicken (assuming you're doing a whole roasted chicken?) http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipe...

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: juliejulez

                            I really have to read Chow more often - that orange sauce sounds delicious.

                            1. re: EM23

                              Every recipe I've made from Chow kitchens has been really great.

                          2. We do oven fried chicken with a bechemal flavored with paprika and dried onion flakes.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: melpy

                              I'd love to hear about your oven fried chicken recipe. I threw some paprika on shrimp the other day and was quite surprised at how good it was considering I usually only add it to my taco seasoning and sprinkle it on deviled eggs. It seems like quite the versatile spice. Do you use sweet paprika?

                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                As a kid mom used sweet paprika. Actually, I'm thinking the paprika was for the chicken not the sauce. She justs shakes bone in chicken pieces in flour seasoned with salt pepper and paprika and then bakes it in the oven. I think it is 425 for 35 minutes skin side down then turn and do it another 15 minutes. We would steam white rices and serve the white sauce over everything.

                            2. I would serve a chutney or spicy preserve, rather than a pan sauce. I like the suggestion above for hot pepper jelly, but also like the idea of an onion jam, or a savoury fruit preserve.

                              1. I serve roasted chicken with aioli.

                                1. I prefer cranberry sauce vs. pan sauce or gravy.

                                  1. Mushrooms and onions sautéed and then bathed in a marsala/garlic liquid, possibly thickened makes a nice change

                                    1. Just wanted to say that I like this thread and the many great ideas.

                                      All I will add is that you might like to look Asia-ward, too. Various darker and lighter approaches, incorporating ginger, sesame oil, oyster sauce, hoisin, fish sauce, etc.

                                      Here's a starter link, emphasizing Chinese:


                                      1. Here in Ontario Canada we have a well-known and very popular chain of chicken restaurants called Swiss Chalet. They serve rotisserie chicken w a sauce on the side. While they call their sauce "BBQ" it is nothing like traditional vinegar based bbq sauce. It really is delicious.

                                        Here's a pretty good copycat version:


                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                          Oooh, thanks for that!

                                          I love the Swiss Chalet dipping sauce, and it is totally different from anything else I've had. It's good with French fries too.

                                          1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                            Enjoy tgwii! For years my Mom tried to replicate it. I was happy to find this for her.

                                        2. Romesco sauce. Bonus is that lots of potential vegetable accompaniments also go well with romesco (potatoes, asparagus, etc.) I also like it as a spread for leftover chicken sandwiches. :)

                                          This is one of my favorite recipes that I use as a baseline: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                          1. - Buttermilk & horseradish sauce with Dijon mustard & chives
                                            - Toum
                                            - Blue cheese sauce
                                            - Remoulade
                                            - Caesar-style sauce
                                            - Feta sauce with lemon & fresh dill
                                            - Tahini sauce with garlic, cayenne & cumin

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              Ghg, this is a great list of sauces!
                                              You mentioned blue cheese...my favorite sauce or 'dip' for roast chicken is a thick, chunky blue cheese dressing, served cold.
                                              I wonder if the same sour cream/mayonnaise base could be warmed up in the de-greased chicken drippings for a warm blue cheese gravy?

                                              1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                Ooh, I think you need to try it out and let us know :)

                                            2. Hmm. How about a traditional pesto, or one made with arugula or capers if you wanna get wild. Or just a salsa verde?

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: pinehurst

                                                I make a green "pesto"--usually parsley because I always have that in the house--with just olive oil, garlic salt and pepper. Great on chicken and amazing on boiled or roasted potatoes.

                                              2. I love cranberries with chicken. Fresh cranberries are hard to come by now, but dried ones are pretty ubiquitous. Soften them and whiz in the blender for a nice glaze, maybe with a little orange zest or applesauce.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: iluvcookies

                                                  I did a nice cranberry based sauce for pork the other night that would work well with chicken too - cook up dried cranberries, orange juice, a bit of orange zest and cardamon, sweetened a bit if you need it.

                                                  1. re: iluvcookies

                                                    I love cranberry sauce with chicken! Whether homemade or canned (if I don't have any homemade ready), I've eaten tons of it over the years. I've made CS with vodka (otherwise known as Cosmopolitan cranberry sauce), it is seriously good.

                                                  2. I can't imagine not wanting to incorporate the wonderful drippings/fond into the sauce. When I roast chicken parts, I sometimes do a take-off on veronique sauce by scattering grape tomatoes, pearl onions, and black or red seedless grapes amidst the chicken pieces. They cook down some and release juice into the pan but keep a more or less discrete shape unless stirred roughly. Once the meat is done and removed, stir gently to blend in the fond. If more liquid is needed, use chicken broth or white wine and reduce.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: greygarious

                                                      I think this is my plan with added mushrooms. Any additional tips on your method as I've never made a pan sauce? Do you pour off any of the drippings? If I added mushrooms should I saute ahead of time?

                                                    2. Something I do occasionally, just to liven things up, is a red wine/rosemary sauce.

                                                      Saute garlic and finely chopped rosemary in olive oil, add a couple of glugs of red wine, reduce, then add chicken broth. Pour this over the raw chicken. You will see the skin shrink before your eyes. Roast as normal. Finished chicken has a lovely dark brown, crispy skin. Make a blondish roux and pour in the pan drippings. Cook until thickened. Yum.

                                                      1. -tangerine beurre blanc (great with asparagus -- i often wrap sole or tilapia around asparagus and broil then top with sauce)

                                                        -dijon browned butter sauce - brown some butter, add a little chicken stock, dijon, and greek yogurt or sour cream. i like to add some chopped shallots too.

                                                        -eggplant or olive tapenade

                                                        -lightly blended caramelized onions with some sundried tomatoes, basil and a little white balsamic vinegar

                                                        -reduced balsamic vinegar

                                                        -lemon caper a la piccata

                                                        1. I love the sauces you get with roasted peruvian chicken at local restaurants. I've tried numerous recipes for Aji, the green sauce, and am struck by how different they are from one another. The version I like best is along these lines:


                                                          1. I use pan drippings to make a coconut milk curry sauce that is delicious on both chicken and rice.

                                                            1. I reently made a salt crusted chicken so there were no drippings but I wanted a sauce, so I made Diablo Sauce and it was delicious with roast chicken.

                                                              Diablo Sauce

                                                              2 TB unsalted butter
                                                              ¼ cup minced shallots
                                                              1 tsp. thyme
                                                              1 bay leaf
                                                              1 TB tomato paste
                                                              1/4 cup white wine vinegar
                                                              1/2 cup dry white wine
                                                              2 cups chicken stock
                                                              1 jalapeno pepper diced (Ip to you if you use the seeds. You will be straining later so your choice.)
                                                              1TB dijon mustard
                                                              2 TB heavy cream (optional)
                                                              1/4 tsp cayenne


                                                              Heat the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over low heat. Add shallots, thyme, bay leaf, and 1 pinch crush black peppercorns and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and continue cooking for 1 minute. Add vinegar and white wine. Bring to a boil and reduce by half, approximately 2 minutes. Pour in the stock, add the jalapeno, and cook at a simmer for 35 minutes, skimming any impurities that rise to the surface. Without allowing the liquid to reboil, whisk in the mustard, cream, if using, and cayenne and season with 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl and set aside, covered to keep warm.

                                                              1. Peruvian green sauce will knock your socks off. Seriously addictive!


                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: mcgeary

                                                                  I love it at my local Peruvian chicken take out restaurant. I think that is next on my roasted chicken list so I will keep this recipe handy. Thanks.

                                                                2. Thomas Keller suggests ditching a sauce entirely and just serving some Dijon mustard on the side. I make up a dip of Dijon, sour cream or unflavored yogurt and mayonnaise in a 3:1:dollop ratio and mix in some chopped thyme. It takes no time, which perhaps the reason I'm making something as simple as a roast chicken in the first place, and goes very nicely with the chicken.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: nokitchen

                                                                    Thomas Keller can take my gravy or sauce out of my cold, dead hands!


                                                                    1. re: Violatp

                                                                      Hee. In fairness, a chicken prepared by his method has relatively little in the way of drippings and he uses them as a post-cooking baste, during the rest. So it's not like those juices go to waste; they stay in the chicken or are returned to it directly.

                                                                      That doesn't make it the *right* way, of course. If there were a single right way to cook something a whole lot fewer people would be interested in cooking. I just thought I'd share a method from an accomplished master chef which has also worked for a humble fellow Chow hound. :-)

                                                                      1. re: nokitchen

                                                                        I ain't afraid of no Thomas Keller.


                                                                        One day I shall make his fried chicken and on that day angels shall surely weep for lack of taste buds.

                                                                  2. I like this old Josceline Dimbleby recipe for last lick sauce: http://demon-cook.blogspot.com/2010/1... (not my blog, when I googled for a recipe handily sineone else had typed it up)

                                                                    Rosemary, garlic, anchovy, sun-dried tomatoes, cream and chicken, what's not to like?!

                                                                    1. For chicken or fish I sometimes use just fresh squeezed lemon juice, good quality olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Very simple, but it brings out the flavour of the meat.