Monday, February 22, 2010

Roast Chicken, Rice, Gravy, and Veggies

If you can buy a whole chicken, you can roast a whole chicken - I am just saying. I have a friend who still has not had the "nerve" to try it. Really, it is a very economical way to make a meal that gives you seemingly endless leftover possibilities. This chicken cost me just over $6 and fed us dinner tonight, will feed at least Chris lunch tomorrow, and at least will feed us again on Wednesday night when we will have chicken fried rice.


1 Whole Chicken (you can get the really big roaster if you want but I just did a regular old bird)
Your seasoning of choice (this can be as simple as salt and pepper if you so desire)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (optional)
1 Cup Rice (I used a combination of Basmati and Jasmine since I will be reusing for fried rice)
Frozen Corn
Frozen Peas
Frozen Broccoli
2 T flour
1 C water
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease a shallow roasting pan (I used a 13x9x2 inch pan).

Remove chicken from the plastic bag and pull the neck and "goodies" out of the inside. You can discard these or see the footnote for suggestions. Rinse the bird and pat it dry. Season under the skin and inside with your choice of seasoning or just salt and pepper. I actually am lucky enough to have some Tastefully Simple "Garlic, Garlic" seasoning and used that as my seasoning tonight. If you don't have that particular brand, you can use minced garlic or dried flakes of garlic and dried onion flakes paired with Italian Seasoning.

Tuck the wing tips across the top and behind the bird. Rub the skin with olive oil. Place the chicken, breast-side up, in the roasting pan. Bake for 2 hours or until an internal meat thermometer reads 180 degrees. If you find the skin is browning too quickly, "tent" a piece of aluminum foil (shiny side down) over top of the roasting pan. - by "tent", I mean, don't tuck it tightly on top of the bird.

Cook the rice according to package instructions. I am usually simple with my sides and tonight was no exception. I combined some frozen peas with frozen corn and heated them until they were warm. The broccoli was also heated on the stovetop.

How I make Chicken Gravy:

When the chicken was done, I poured the drippings into a saucepan. I added the flour to the water and whisked them together in a small bowl until there were no lumps and poured the flour and water mixture into the saucepan with the drippings. Once this is brought to a gentle boil, the gravy thickens, like, um...gravy. If it is too thick, add more water. If it is too thin, just cook it a little longer and the extra moisture will evaporate. At this point, I tasted it and added a little salt.

At this point, the only thing to do is to carve the bird. I will leave that instruction to the experts because I don't think I would do a great job explaining it. Meanwhile, I like this guy and he has the same knife rack as I do, so he is okay in my book :)

Footnote Tip:
Chicken Stock:
I always make stock from my roast chicken or store-bought rotisserie chicken bones. Here's how: Place chicken carcass and those goodies from inside the raw chicken - sounds great already - into a large stockpot and cover with water. Cook over medium-low heat for about 2 hours or longer if you have the time. Remove from heat and pour the stock through a collander. You can pick the meat off the bones and make a chicken salad or throw it into a chicken soup or just discard the carcass and store the stock.

If you want to keep it for a while, place the stock into a freezer bag and lay the bag flat on a jellyroll pan or cookie sheet and put this whole thing in your freezer. Once frozen, you can stack the stock for easy storage in the freezer. This also makes it easier to thaw since they are thin.

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