Monday, May 24, 2010

Roast Chicken

I noticed my local grocery store had whole chickens for only .99 cents a pound this weekend! The voice inside my head said, "Sunday dinner, Sunday dinner." So that is what I did. You can't pass that up. A four pound chicken for $4? Crazy good deal. I made a traditional Sunday dinner with gravy, mashed potatoes and green beans.

For the perfect roast chicken:
Pull out the giblets. Mine mysteriously didn't have any, but the directions on the package said to remove them. So a good rule to live by, always check for giblets because you never know. Instead of stuffing the bird with stuffing, I like to stuff it with half a lemon, a couple cloves of garlic and half an onion. (Adds lots of moisture.) I tie up the legs with twine and tie the wings closely to the body. (See picture below.) Keeping everything nice and tight keeps the bird really juicy. Now you can either rub olive oil all over the bird or you can take room temperature butter and spread over the bird and under the skin. Either way, season well with salt and pepper all over.

Place in a roasting pan on a rack. Bake at 350 for 20-23 minutes per pound. So I baked my four pounder for about 90 minutes. The juices between the leg and breast should run clear or you can put a meat thermometer in the breast and it should read 165 degrees.

Gravy is super easy. Don't let it intimidate you. Start off by making a rue. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium to medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Whisk until the flour is incorporated and golden brown. Voila, you've mad a rue. Add some of the chicken juices. (Super great flavor here.) While whisking, slowly add some chicken stock or broth, about a cup, maybe more, until it reaches the consistency you like. Season with salt and pepper.

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