Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mustard Roast Chicken with Gravy

Just thought I'd let you know that I'm heading to D.C. today with my favorite friend and I plan on coming back with a few awesome restaurant reviews and plenty of photos.

I'm an anglophile. I admit it! My favorite teacher (in fifth grade) was British and he made me fall in love with the accent. I've actually got a pretty mean British accent; I 'ave a pri-ee good Essex accent, I can speak like a posh Londoner, and I 'fink my cockney ain't so bad, gov'nuh. I can remember to substitute "elevator" with "lift" and "cell phone" with "mobile" which I think is a pretty good start. I wish I were British, sigh.

But it's not just the accents that I love, you see. One specific thing I quite like about British culture is the traditional Sunday roast. I love the idea of having an almost celebratory meal (at least) once a week. I think it's just so sweet to gather your family to sit down and enjoy a well-prepared dinner together. Sunday roast is also known as roast dinner, Sunday dinner, and cooked dinner and it's a great tradition of making some sort of roast meat (beef, chicken, lamb) with lovely sides. I think it's a tradition I'd like to adopt.

A few Sundays ago, in the spirit of Sunday roast, I decided to roast a chicken. But instead of doing my usual rosemary and butter massage, I used a little mustard and thyme and lemon and it turned out really delicious.
Ingredients:
5 to 6 lb. chicken
¼ cup dijon mustard
2 tablespoons coarse grain mustard
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 + 4 cloves garlic
4 + 4 cloves thyme
1 lemon
¼ onion

gravy
giblets
1½ cups water
1½ tablespoon butter
1½ tablespoon flour
2 cloves minced garlic
salt & pepper
splash of cream

Mix together the dijon mustard, coarse grain mustard, olive oil, salt, pepper, 4 cloves of garlic, the leaves stripped off of 4 springs of thyme, and lemon juice.
Give the chicken a bath (remove the giblets which are usually stuffed inside the cavity) and pat the skin dry. Shove a lemon half, onion, a few cloves of garlic, and thyme sprigs right up the chicken's ass, wait, no, butt, sorry, let's try that again, cavity and then give it a good massage with the mustard mixture.
I feel like this photo should be censored. It looks so... graphic. I'm sorry, chicken! I'm sorry!
Place the chicken in a 400F oven for 1-1/2 hours or until the internal temperature reads 165F. If your chicken starts to go too brown, cover it with a bit of foil.
If you're so inclined, you can also chuck a tray of vegetables into the oven to roast alongside the chicken.
While the chicken is roasting, you can make some delicious gravy.
Put the giblets in a saucepan with some water and bring to a boil. Let them boil until the giblets are cooked through and the stock is nice and flavorful.
Chop up the giblets into tiny pieces and mince up some garlic.
In a saucepan, melt the butter and add in the garlic. Let the garlic sizzle a little and then add in some flour and whisk until combined. Slowly pour in the giblet stock and whisk to combine and bring to a boil. Add the giblets back into the stock and season with salt and pepper. Finish off the gravy with just a splash of cream for richness.
Pull the chicken from the oven to reveal lovely golden skin. Serve it up whole or carve it before you bring it to the table. I prefer the latter, as it's so much easier to get yourself seconds and thirds and a dangerous knife isn't sitting on the table for anyone to grab.
Plus, if you bring it to the table to carve, you'll have to set the chicken on a platter or a cutting board and she'll end up looking not so cute (at least in my opinion) when she arrives whole instead of portioned into easy-to-serve pieces. I mean, would you look at that sprawled out, creepy-looking chicken? If that photo doesn't push you to carve the chicken, then you're weird.
So, carve that baby up. Then, all that's left to do is set the table and tuck in. The chicken is so tender and moist and flavorful, thanks to all that mustard and lemon. If you're looking for a spin on regular roast chicken, this is a great option. We had our Sunday roast with a peppery arugula salad, roast potatoes, wild rice pilaf, and a generous piles of peas and corn with butter. It looks pretty good, right? Not a bad way to finish off a weekend.
Here's the recipe page:

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