Basic Roast Chicken with Chicken Gravy - TNT
Basic Roast Chicken with Chicken Gravy
Yields: 8 portions
I make this recipe in the winter, usually. It drives my kids nuts having to smell this cooking, and watching me baste the bird. By the time it’s done, they’re so hungry, drooling everywhere, etc., that there usually isn’t much left in the way of leftovers.
I roast my birds in a cast iron skillet. This way, when the bird is done, I can easily remove the bird, draining all the juices into the pan. As the bird rests before carving, I caramelize the drippings in the skillet on top of the stove. Once the drippings (“fond”, in the French terminology) are nicely browned, I deglaze the pan with the chicken stock, and the result is a most magnificent gravy.
Pull out that darn popup thermometer and chuck it in the trash where it belongs. I use an Instant Read Probe Thermometer to check the temperature. I have also started to brine my chickens to ensure they are juicy and full of flavor.
One young chicken, between 4 and 7 #, washed inside and out
4 T oil, in all
-or- clarified butter
3 c chicken stock
2 T cornstarch mixed with 2 T water
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Drizzle 2 T of the oil/clarified butter over the bird. Season the skin of the bird with the seasonings, all to taste. Rub the seasonings into the skin of the bird, on all sides. You’ll need to flip the bird over to do this. Place the bird in the roasting pan. Be sure to thoroughly wash your hands after you’re done, as you have raw chicken juices containing bacteria all over them. You’ll probably also want to use a disinfectant wipe to clean off the spice bottles.
If you’re using a cast iron skillet, be sure to preheat the pan on the stovetop. Once you hear the skin of the chicken start to sizzle, the pan is good to go. Place the pan in the oven and roast at 350°F until the bird is cooked. A good rule of thumb is 20 minutes per pound of bird, so a 4# bird will take approximately 1 hour 20 minutes. Use this as a guide to help plan the service time of your meal, but don’t rely on it. Always use a probe thermometer (Instant Read thermometer) and insert the tip into the thickest part of the thigh, but not touching the bone. Your target temperature is 160 - 165°F, and the “carry-over” cooking effect will bring the internal temperature up to 170°F.
Remove the bird from the pan and place it on a large plate or platter to rest. You want to use something deep enough to capture any juices (a carving board will allow the juices to run off), but not something so deep that the bird sits in it’s own juices and becomes soggy. Place the skillet (if you’re using it) on a burner and turn the heat to medium. Cook the drippings until they have congealed and are well caramelized. Add the stock, and using a spoon, scrape all the brown bits (the “fond”) and stir it around in the stock. Once it’s dissolved, place a strainer over a smaller pan and CAREFULLY pour the stock and juices into the strainer. Once all the liquid is strained, dispose of the junk in the strainer. Mix the cornstarch and water so that it’s uniform. Bring the stock mixture to a boil, and add the cornstarch while stirring. Once it thickens, lower the heat to a simmer. If you want to, add the juices that have collected in the plate or platter that the bird is resting on. Taste to check for the seasonings. Add some salt and pepper if it needs it.
Carve the bird and serve with mashed potatoes and/or stuffing, with gravy over the meat and sides. Enjoy!
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