Monday, December 14, 2009

5 Piece Chicken Dinner

We were craving some roast chicken so Saturday night, I got the fixins:

1 whole chicken
3-4 medium Yukon gold potatoes
2 medium red onions
3-4 large carrots
1 lemon
Fresh rosemary (we already had some)
1 head garlic
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger

1. Rinse the chicken inside and out with cold water. REMEMBER TO REMOVE THE BAG OF GIBLETS!! Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Peel the carrots and reserve the peels and tips/butts. Halve an onion and reserve the skins and 1 or 2 outer layers of flesh.
3. Fill a small saucepan 3/4 full of water and bring to a boil. Add carrot peels, butts/tips, onion discards and giblets. Simmer.
4. Meanwhile, halve a lemon and insert one halve into the cavity of the chicken, along with the ginger cut into thick slices, about 4-5 cloves of garlic smashed, some fresh rosemary. Halve the other red onion, then quarter the half and shove those inside the cavity as well.
5. Make a simple rub with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, rosemary, garlic powder and lemon juice. Rub it all over the chicken, then truss the legs together with some cooking twine.
6. Halve the potatoes and cut the carrots into big chunky slices. Place these along with the halved red onions at the bottom of a heavy bottomed pot with oven-safe lid. Add more fresh rosemary and whole, unpeeled cloves of garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and cover. Place in the oven.
8. Now you can get to work on your gravy - once it reduces to about 1/3 or 1/2 of its original liquid, turn off the heat and remove the giblets. Reserve these. Discard the onion and carrot bits.
9. Mince the giblets - everything, including the neck meat. This will fall off the bone if you use your fingers. Be careful that you discard all of the neck bones. Set these aside.
10. After about 45 mins, check on your chicken - scoop out some of the chicken fat from the bottom and add to a small pan, along with some butter. Put the chicken back in the oven, uncovered.
11. Heat the chicken fat and butter in the pan, then add about 2-3 tablespoons of flour. Cook through and then add back to the giblet broth. Reheat to a simmer and stir until well combined. Then add the minced giblets and season with salt and pepper.
12. After 20 more minutes, check the temperature on your chicken. Internal thigh temperature should be about 160-170 degrees (F).

Once it's ready to serve, remove the chicken from the pot/baking dish and carve. Serve with vegetables and gravy. Serves 4.

You can make homemade chicken broth with the leftover carcass - just stick it in a large stock pot with water, carrots, celery, onions and whatever herbs you want - parsley, oregano, rosemary. Sim-simmaaah!

Since it was just two of us, we had some leftover meat. I made a chicken salad with mayo, Rick's Picks Mean Beans, red onions, salt, lemon pepper and garlic powder.

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