Monday, January 10, 2011
So you ever go to the grocery store all jazzed up about making a certain recipe?You have your list in hand, ready to get the ingredients you need and then well...
Well that was me,last Sunday and all I wanted was a whole roasting chicken. I went to the grocery with dreams of a perfect,WHOLE roasted chicken on a platter,covered in gravy and I knew it was just going to be the best roasted chicken dinner ever. The closest thing I could find to a whole chicken was split chicken breasts.I knew the benefits of using split chicken breasts in a recipe. You get all the meaty,juicy benefits of roasting the chicken on the bone and oh the skin. The skin on the chicken is nothing but goodness wrapped around the chicken breasts.It holds in all the flavors,continuously cooks the chicken in it's own fat,oh the flavors.Oh and really it acts like plastic wrap for the chicken,it holds in any extras you smooth under the skin,enriching the taste of the chicken at the same time! Chicken can be like a blank sheet of paper,you have so many opportunities to enrich the flavors of the chicken and welcome in soooo many other flavor/taste combinations.
Back to reality,standing in the meat section of the grocery store staring at split chicken breasts.I give in and throw caution to the wind,what the heck split chicken breasts it was! I finish picking up the rest of my lists and I was back home soon enough to make some fine roasted chicken.I decided folks this would be a "run-through" of the recipe that called for a whole roasted chicken,a test run of a recipe that I had read rave reviews of and knew it would taste just fine whole or not. Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Chicken recipe sounded pretty darn wonderful and looked to be pretty straight-forward. It was.It made my house smell amazing. The chicken was cooked perfectly,did I mention gravy,oh good heavens the gravy (should have picked up some Sister Schubert rolls or hey I could have made these .).. and so darn easy. Thanks Ina.
Perfect Roast Chicken
1 5 to 6 pound roasting chicken
( I used 5 pounds total of split chicken breasts, yay for being spur of the moment!)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme
(I had a craving for rosemary.I used rosemary evidently.)
1 head garlic,cut in half crosswise
2 TBL butter,melted
1 Spanish onion,thickly sliced
1 cup chicken stock
2 TBL all-purpose flour
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry.
2. Place the chicken in a roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside and outside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme,both halves of the lemon, and all the garlic( I tucked the stems of rosemary under the chicken skin and in between the chicken pieces.Cut the lemon into 8 wedges and the garlic into 4 quarters and tucked them in between the chicken pieces too.) Brush the outside of the chicken with he butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with the kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Scatter the onion slices around the chicken.
3. Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh.(When roasting the split chicken breasts,it didn't take as long in the oven,it really took about half as long 30-40 minutes) Remove to a platter and cover with aluminum foil while you prepare the gravy.
4. Remove all the fat from the bottom of the pan,reserving 2 Tablespoons in a small cup. Add the chicken stock to the pan and cook on high heat (on the stovetop) for about 5 minutes,until reduced,scraping the bottom of the pan. Combine the 2 tablespoons of chicken fat with the flour and add it to the pan. Boil for a few minutes to cook the flour. Strain the gravy into a small saucepan and season it to taste. Keep it warm over very low heat while you carve the chicken. Slice the chicken onto the platter (keep the chicken bones for making stock,instructions coming soon!) and serve immediately with the warm gravy.