Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Roasted Chicken & Gravy

For Easter, I was torn about what to make for dinner. I made an herb-coated rack of lamb last year, which was great, but I wanted to do something different so I decided to just roast a chicken. I thought it would be delicious, easy, and the leftovers would be great.

Ingredients [serves 4 to 6]:
1 whole chicken
3 tablespoons butter
1 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (I used rosemary but thyme or parsley would also be great)
  + a few extra sprigs
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

& if you want gravy:
chicken innards
2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
+ any flavorings like onion, mushrooms, herbs, garlic, etc.
Start by chopping up some rosemary.

After rinsing and drying the chicken (I patted mine dry with some paper towels), place it in a dish and give it a nice massage with some room temperature butter. Then sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper, and the chopped rosemary. Squeeze a lemon over the top and then shove the squeezed lemon halves, garlic, and rosemary sprigs up its cavity (HAHA, sorry I'm so immature).
Stick the chicken in the oven at 400 degrees for 1.5 to 2 hours or until the internal temperature is 150.
Meanwhile, you can make some gravy.
Place the chicken innards (liver, neck, etc.) in a saucepan with 2 cups of water and make a stock. Allow it to come to a boil and let it cook until it's reduced by about half.
Pour the stock through one of those gravy separator things to get rid of the excess fat and set aside.
In a separate saucepan, add butter and any flavorings you want to use - I used onion but you could add mushrooms or garlic or shallot or herbs, whatever you like. Saute for a bit and then add in the flour. Whisk it up until the flour is well incorporated. Pour in the hot stock and whisk again until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
These look incredibly gross and I apologize profusely but some people like to chop up the innards and toss them into the gravy. I am not one of those people - these went to my dog.
Allow the gravy to come to a boil - which is when it'll reach it's full thickened state - and then remove from the heat.
Once the bird is cooked to 150 degrees, remove it from the oven.
And then cover it with a tin foil tent and leave it alone for another 10 to 15 minutes. This is where we take advantage of the carryover cooking time and also let the juices redistribute so that the white meat is nice and moist.
I put it on a plate to carve but a cutting board would've definitely been smarter.
I am a terrible butcher so this is the mess I ended up with, but the pieces I served looked great.
Here's a plate with all the fixin's. We had a salad, corn, brussels sprouts, duchess potatoes (which look like sugar cookies), and coconut peas and rice. I'll be sharing a recipe for the sprouts and potatoes later this week.
It was good.

Here are the recipe pages for both the chicken and the gravy:

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