My Mom's "Sahnehähnchen" (Roasted Chicken with Homemade Gravy)

This is one of my favorite Sunday meals from my childhood. We used to always eat a warm lunch and a cold supper. And on Sundays, my Mom always prepared a special meal that took a little bit longer and was a little bit more work - her "Sontagsbraten" (Sunday Pot Roast), her "Rinder-Rouladen" (Stuffed Beef Rolls), her paprika gulash, Wiener Schnitzel, steak with gravy and roasted potatoes, etc... Her self-made gravys to each of these dishes top it all off!

When I was really little (before we moved), we all sat together around the living room table, sun was shining through the window (for sure just a biased childhood memory ;) ). Because the living room table was a lower table, my brother and I sat on the carpet on the one side while my parents were sitting on the couch across from us. I remember that at a certain time, there was this one TV show airing around lunch time and sometimes my brother and I were allowed to have it running in the background during lunch... It was called "Fantasy Island" and was about a tropical island and people vacationing there. So, this tropical vacation feeling kinda got mixed up with these Sunday family lunches :)

This dish is called "Sahnehähnchen" which - literally translated - means "cream chicken". However, it is a roasted chicken, the cream refers to the creamy gravy :)


  • 1 whole chicken (without head or giblets)
  • chicken grilling seasoning (alternative: salt & smoked paprika)
  • 2 tablespoons butter + some more butter flakes
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1-2 teaspoons Mondamin "dunkler Soßenbinder" = dark gravy thickener (or alternatively corn starch)
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • cayenne pepper as topping
  • side dishes: salt potatoes, beans or peas


Preheat oven to 200 degree celsius ("Ober-/Unterhitze) or 180 degree celsius ("Heiß- oder Umluft")
  1. Prepare the chicken: If the chicken was frozen, unthaw it the day before. Clean the chicken with water and completely dry it. Now, sprinkle the seasoning over the chicken, so that the entire chicken is covered, slightly red from the seasoning. Use either a standard chicken grilling seasoning or use alternatively smoked paprika and a bit salt.
  2. Roast the chicken: Fill the bottom of a roasting pan with a thin layer of oil. Place the chicken in it. Put butter flakes on top of the chicken. Roast for 1 hour till chicken meat is soft. Turn around after about 30 minutes. When chicken seems to get too dark, place some baking paper or tin foil on top. However, you want to have a crispy skin, so do not cover it up too early.
  3. Prepare the Gravy: Take the chicken out of the roasting pan. Pour the oil (including all the good chicken flavor and seasonings - called "pan drippings") into a small pot. As you do not want to leave any of the good flavors behind, fill the roasting pan with a little bit of water (1-2 cups), stir good, and heat it up again in the oven. Then add this to the pot on the stove top. This process is called "deglazing" the pan. Now, you can place the chicken back in the roasting pan, reduce the heat on the oven to 50 degree celsius and keep the chicken warm, while you finish the gravy. Heat up the water (with the flavors) on the stove top and bring to a boil. Add the cream, salt and pepper to taste. If gravy is not thick enough, add the sauce thickener. Just a bit at a time, boil for a minute. It does take some time before it thickens. You want to have a creamy consitency.
  4. Serving: Depending on your taste, serve a chicken breast, wing, or thigh. As the skin is really crispy, it actually tasted quite good. Serve it with a side of potatoes, pasta and/or veggies. Sprinkle with a dash of cayenne pepper and pour the gravy over everything :)

The way we serve it - a.k.a. "the right way of eating it" :)

As this is my Mom's recipe, I want to tell you, how I am used to eating it. I have always only liked white meat and no meat on the bone. So, I only eat the chicken breast. However, I do like to eat a little bit of the crispy skin.
  • First, I pull the white meat out of the chicken breast with a fork and lay it on my plat.
  • Second, you also need a side of salt potatoes (potatoes peeled and cooked in salty water) and a side of veggies (beans or peas). 
  • Third, sprinkle some cayenne pepper over the white meat and the potatoes. 
  • Last, pour a good amount of gravy over everything: the meat, the potatoes, and the veggies. I like it when the potatoes get really soaked in the gravy. It helps, if you smash the potatoes slightly with your fork into the gravy. 

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