The first time I ate a whole chicken was after the birth of one of my children. A friend brought it over and I was impressed! It tasted great, looked fancy, and seemed like something only a pro would make. I have since made many whole chickens myself and found that it's surprisingly easy, but the results are still impressive. Cooking a whole chicken with the skin on is a great way to get lots of healthy fats into your meal, and it adds lots of flavor.
A whole pastured chicken can be pricey, so I make sure we use it for at least 3 meals. If I'm making a whole chicken, we'll carve pieces off the bird for the first meal. Then, I pick all the leftover meat off, shred it, and store it for a future meal. Finally, I take all that's left: bones, that little bag of innards that came with the chicken, and any fat or inedible meat parts. I usually put all this in a bag in the freezer, and when I have enough stored up, I make chicken broth.
Roasted Chicken with Onions, Potatoes and Gravy
(Recipe from Williams-Sonoma)
1 pastured whole chicken
1 1/4 tsp. sea salt, divided
3/4 tsp. black pepper
1 lemon, quartered
1 celery stalk, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 pounds medium yellow onions, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
2 pounds small red potatoes, cut into 1 inch wedges
1/4 cup wheat or white flour
14 oz. chicken broth, divided
Directions:1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Remove giblets and neck from chicken (Save for your broth). Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumstick by inserting fingers between skin and meat. Rub 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper under loosened skin. Place oregano sprigs, lemon slices and celery inside body cavity. Lift wing tips over and back, tuck under chicken. Tie legs together with a string. Place chicken, breast side up, on the rack of a broiler pan.
3. Combine 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, melted butter onions and potatoes in a large bowl and toss well to coat. Arrange onion mixture around chicken on rack. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 325 (do not open oven); bake an additional 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 165. Set aside onions, potatoes and chicken. Keep warm.
4. Drain chicken drippings into a small saucepan. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, flour 1/2 cup chicken broth in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture and remaining chicken broth to saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes or until gravy thickens, stirring frequently with a whisk.
This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays.