Roast Chicken with Natural Gravy

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Ingredients

U.S. Metric Ingredients
2 2 Chickens, 3–3½ lb (1.4–1.6 kg) each
to taste to taste Salt
to taste to taste Pepper
as needed as needed Oil or butter
    Mirepoix:
2 oz 60 g Onion, large dice
1 oz 30 g Carrots, large dice
1 oz 30 g Celery, large dice
1 qt 1 L Strong chicken stock
oz (8 tsp) 20 g Cornstarch or arrowroot
4 tsp 20 mL Water or stock, cold
to taste to taste Salt
to taste to taste Pepper

Method

Procedure

  1. Remove giblets from chickens. Check inside cavities to make sure they are well cleaned. Reserve giblets for other use.
  2. Season the insides of the chickens with salt and pepper.
  3. Truss the chickens (see Figure 17.3).
  4. Rub the outside of the chickens with oil or butter (butter promotes faster browning). Season the skin with salt and pepper, as it will be served with the meat.
  5. Place the mirepoix in a roasting pan. Place a rack over the mirepoix, and place the chickens breast down on the rack. (Note: If desired, the mirepoix may be added to the pan later in the roasting process.)
  6. Place the chickens in an oven preheated to 450°F (230°C). After 15 minutes (not longer), turn the heat down to 325°F (165°C).
  7. When the chickens have been in the oven 45–60 minutes, turn them breast side up. Baste with the fat in the roasting pan and finish roasting. Total cooking time is about 1½ hours.
  8. Remove the chickens from the roasting pan and hold them in a warm place for service.
  9. Set the roasting pan on the range over high heat and cook until all the moisture has cooked off (“clarify the fat”) and the mirepoix is well browned but not burned. Pour off the fat.
  10. Add the strong stock to deglaze the pan. Boil until the gravy is reduced by about one-third. Degrease carefully. See Figure 14.1.
  11. Stir the starch with the cold water or stock. Stir it into the gravy. Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened. The stock will reduce further.
  12. Strain into a bain-marie, using a china cap lined with cheesecloth. Season carefully with salt and pepper.
  13. Quarter the chickens, or carve them as shown in Figure 14.2. Serve a quarter-chicken with 2 oz (60 mL) gravy.

Per serving: Calories, 350; Protein, 45 g; Fat, 17 g (45% cal.); Cholesterol, 105 mg; Carbohydrates, 2 g; Fiber, 0 g; Sodium, 140 mg.

Variations

Roast Herbed Chicken

Place 3–4 parsley stems and a pinch each of tarragon and marjoram in the cavity of each bird.

After turning the chicken breast-up in the roasting pan, rub the skin with chopped parsley, tarragon, and marjoram.

Roast Chicken with Gravy

Save 1⅓ oz (40 g) of the fat skimmed from the juices and make a blond roux with the fat and 1⅓ oz (40 g) bread flour. Beat the roux into the juices and simmer until thickened.

Roast Chicken with Cream Gravy

Prepare as in basic recipe, but use only 1 pt (500 mL) chicken stock. Boil until reduced by one-third and strain (step 10). Add 10 fl oz (300 mL) hot milk and thicken with oz (75 g) blond roux. Finish with fl oz (45 mL) heavy cream.

Procedure Variation: Combi Oven

Substitute the following steps for steps 5, 6, and 7 in the main recipe:

5. Place the mirepoix in a roasting pan. Place a rack over the mirepoix, and place the chickens breast up on the rack.

6. Place the chickens in a combi-oven preheated to 325°F (163°C) in combi mode.

7. After 20 minutes (not longer), turn the heat up to 385°F (195°C) and increase to maximum browning level (reduce humidity to 0 percent). Continue roasting until chicken is finished, basting with the fat in the roasting pan. Total cooking time is about 50 minutes.

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