Being a small household of two most days, I make myself accountable for using the groceries we purchase.  We keep to our budget (most weeks anyways) and roasting a chicken - and tossing in bits and pieces of vegetables to roast alongside does the trick for a delicious meal that keeps the budget afloat!  And what also makes this so budget-friendly is that I can do so much with the leftovers!  I get super-excited anytime I think of what Leftover Makeover I am going to make us for lunch one day and dinner another day! 


This chicken is so moist and flavorful - it can be added to almost any of your favorite dishes!  I’m a huge fan of adding it to pasta and rice ... Eric loves the chicken salad more than anything!  Needless to say - we’ve come A LONG WAY from the days of regular restaurant visiting and turning our noses up at leftovers!! 


So no need to despair if you find yourself making dinner for one or two people ... or perhaps you are in a situation of having to trim the grocery budget a bit ... Take a look around and you’ll see the patterns of how we run meals in our household!


Ingredients:


  1. - 1 (3 - 4 pound) chicken, giblets removed

  2. - Poultry seasoning of choice

  3. - Salt and pepper

  4. - Oil  (canola or vegetable)

  5. - Lemon, quartered

  6. - Fresh or dried herbs of choice

  7. - Onions, peeled and quartered

  8. - Baby Carrots, about a handful

  9. - Potatoes, scrubbed clean, peeled or unpeeled, halved and quartered

  10. - Root vegetables of choice, we like potatoes, carrots and onions

  11. - Shallots, diced (a teaspoon or so)

  12. - All-purpose flour  (1 heaping teaspoon or so)

  13. - Dry white wine  (1/4 cup or so)

  14. - Heavy Cream  (1/2 cup or so)

  15. - Chicken Demi-Glace (www.williams-sonoma.com)  (1/2 to 1 scant teaspoon)

  16. - Unsalted butter, cold  (1 or 2 Tablespoons)

  17. - Parsley, fresh chopped for garnish


Directions:


Really dry chicken skin is a key to obtaining crispy chicken skin.  The night before roasting the chicken, (if possible), rinse and pat the chicken dry.  Place it on a deep dish or platter.  Season the chicken liberally with seasonings of choice.  I like a lot of kosher salt, black pepper and Ruth Ann’s Muskego Chicken  Seasoning (from www.penzeys.com).  I may also toss on whatever little bits and pieces of spice rubs that are left over from the previous week.  Once you have your spices selected, drizzle the dried chicken with just a touch of oil.  Then liberally RUB, RUB, RUB the spices into the chicken (inside the cavity too).  Then place the chicken - either uncovered or loosely covered (make sure it’s on a deep platter to catch any juices) - into the refrigerator overnight.  The next day when you pull it out to roast it - don’t be scared if it looks a bit odd, that’s the way it works!


OK - on roasting day ... Pull the chicken out of the refrigerator 20 - 30 minutes in advance.  Use this time to preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  While the chicken is coming to room temperature and the oven is preheating, prepare the roasting pan (skillet).  I like to use a 12-inch oven-safe skillet because then the vegetables don’t burn during roasting - it’s just the right size for everything to fit snugly.  And I can get some really good pan drippings. 


Then - into the cavity of the chicken - add the quartered lemon and fresh (or dried) herbs of choice plus a little more salt and pepper.  Place a small drizzle of oil into your oven-proof skillet and then lay the onions and potatoes into the bottom of the skillet.  Sprinkle the vegetables with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning of choice.  Lay the lemon and herb-stuffed chicken on top of the vegetables and place the remaining vegetables around the sides of the chicken, packing everything tightly in place within the skillet.  Drizzle a little oil over the top of the chicken and vegetables.  Place the skillet (roasting pan) into the preheated oven and roast for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, you should be smelling a lovely chicken aroma, and your chicken should look browned (even though it’s not finished cooking).


With the chicken still in the oven, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue to roast the chicken and vegetables until a thermometer placed between the breast and the thigh registers 165 degrees.  If the juices do not run clear, it needs to roast longer.  If your oven doesn’t heat evenly, you may need to rotate the skillet (roasting pan) to ensure even browning on the chicken and vegetables.  It will take another 30 to 60 minutes.


When the chicken is done, remove it to a cutting board to rest (it will continue to cook a few more degrees while it’s resting).  Place the veggies on a serving platter and tent with foil to keep warm.  Now it’s time to make your gravy.  With the chicken and vegetables out of the skillet, place the skillet (with the chicken drippings) onto the stove and heat over medium-high heat.  Place the diced shallots into the wine and reduce by one half.  Once the pan drippings, wine and shallot mixture has been reduced, add the flour and whisk to combine into a paste.  Cook the paste for a couple of minutes to remove any traces of flour taste.  Add the white wine and allow the sauce to bubble up a bit.  The sauce should be thickened.


Stir in the heavy cream and demi-glace.  Allow this to simmer and reduce slightly to further thicken into a creamy, rich, decadent sauce.  It’s going to be so delicious that you may just want to eat dinner standing over the stove.  Then - it gets better ... whisk in the cold butter, make sure the sauce stays combined and doesn’t break ... which it won’t if you do this slowly and keep whisking. 


Plate the chicken and vegetables - and drizzle with this amazing gravy - or pass the gravy separately at the table.  Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.  Serve with Country Yeast Bread ... it’s so good - and if you have leftovers, I don’t think you’ll have a problem coming up with new meal ideas!!  ENJOY!!