foodie mcfooderson

a home cook with notions & an appetite

eating well’s pan-roasted chicken & gravy

I told you there was a roasted chicken project afoot.  Welcome to Test 2!

Test chicken 2’s method comes from Eating Well Magazine and includes a gravy.  Who doesn’t love bonus drippings?  I actually made this chicken after work one evening.  That’s right, I came home and was able to have dinner on the table in about an hour and a half.  Sure, it’s no 20-minute rush dinner, but most of the time we were hanging out in comfy shoes and watching Jeopardy.  I know, riveting stuff.  I will say that I’m able to cheat a bit and have husband set chicken out to come to room temperature about an hour and a half before I get home.  If I didn’t have that cheat available, I would have needed to add another half hour or 45 minutes to bring my chicken up to temperature.

That being said, the bonus of Eating Well’s Pan-Roasted Chicken, like many roasted chickens, is a short ingredient list as I made it:

  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 3 1/2-pound chicken, giblets removed
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons butter, softened, divided
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

First things first, garlic paste:

Love the mortar and pestle?  It really works.  I know, I know, I have a food processor and the VitaMix, but there are just times that this guy does the job much better.  To make the garlic paste, I ground the garlic, salt, pepper and thyme (it was fresh, it had just been going through a drying phase in the fridge) until it was pasty.

It was now time for fun.  Chicken prep.  I had the oven preheating to 400 degrees (same temp as Test bird 1, but there will be differences) at this time.  Let’s look at the fun of prep and my fading manicure, shall we?

First, I trimmed out the excess fat and discovered a tear in the breast skin.  Nothing terrible.  I was still able to get in under the skin all throughout the bird (breast and thighs, mostly) so there was plenty of room to massage the garlic paste under the bird.  The step you don’t see is the drying out of the inside of the bird with wads of paper towels.  I’m sure you believe it was too beautiful to photograph.

Where Eating Well gets interesting is in the pan portion of the pan-roasting.  It’s not unusual to roast in a cast-iron pan (it’s an awesome size), but browning it on the stovetop first wasn’t something I’d heard of doing before.  How does one gracefully flip the bird around while browning it over medium heat?  Dispense with all ideas of grace, employ an Ov-Glove and a spider or very wide wood spatula and hope you don’t tear too much skin (this took about ten minutes):

I’d melted the canola oil with a teaspoon of oil and went for it.  In the bottom left, you can see where the skin between the thigh and breast separated, but we simply trussed the bird to make sure that I had as little open skin exposed as possible.

Into the oven chicken went – still in the pan.   I baked this for 50 minutes, as my chicken was registering 165 degrees in the thigh.  At this point, I moved the chicken out of the pan and onto the cutting board where it rested under a tent of foil.  The beauty of this method is that the pan I’ve just roasted in goes right back on top of the stove for gravy.

I’d mashed the remaining teaspoon of butter and the flour in a small bowl to make a paste.  My hot oven pan went over medium-high heat and was deglazed with the chicken broth.  Once I had scraped up all the meaty goodness, I whisked in the butter paste and had gravy in under 10 minutes:

Husband carved the chicken, I’d been multi-tasking and boiled beans in salted water during the whisk and we heated leftover mashed potatoes in the microwave for a great dinner.

Was this the one?  Well, it was good and the skin was crispy, it was a moist bird and I really liked the pan juice.  But I wasn’t a fan of the browning and flipping of a whole bird.  The hunt continues…


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This entry was posted on January 19, 2012 by in roasted chicken and tagged , , .

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