Happy Presidents Day! Whew! Thank goodness Valentine's is over! Not to seem cynical or anything, but I don't think I could handle one more pink, sweet, sprinkly thing! So it's back to normal food, at last! And speaking of normal food--you know when you walk into a house where a chicken has been roasting for hours--is there anything better or more comforting than that?! Your nose and stomach do a happy dance, right? It's the kind of nourishing winter food we all crave. But chances are, unless you work from home (or brilliantly don't work at all) you rarely have the time to clean, season and then roast a whole chicken for dinner, especially on a weeknight. But with this Weeknight Pan Roasted Chicken and Gravy recipe, you can enjoy all the things you love about roast chicken, including that great aroma, in a little over an hour (and most of that is hands-off time)! which means that roast chicken doesn't just have to be reserved for Sunday dinners or holidays anymore! Yippee!!
Writing a food blog ensures that I'm always trying new recipes and mostly my family loves it, except for the few disgusting clunkers that pop up now and then, but sometimes they just long for something simple and uncomplicated. That's what this dish is--tender roasted chicken with crispy skin and a wonderfully flavorful gravy. Unless you're a vegetarian or for some strange reason, don't like chicken, you will love this and the fact that it's a snap to put together and I guarantee it'll become one of your tried and true favorites!
You start by making a paste of garlic, salt, white pepper and thyme and then stuffing it under the skin of the chicken, so that the chicken is infused with tons of flavor.
Next you brown the chicken on both sides in a heavy pan, all of which takes about 10-12 minutes.
Then the entire pan goes into the oven and cooks for about an hour, leaving you plenty of time to make a side dish, help someone with homework, toss in a laundry, clean the bathrooms...you get the idea and when it emerges it's golden brown and mouth-wateringly delicious!
Once the chicken is done, you make a simple gravy using the drippings from the pan to which you add a little butter, flour and chicken broth. Make some mashed potatoes to help sop all that delightful gravy and your eaters will swoon. The whole dish is so amazingly good that I'm not sure if I'll ever roast a whole chicken again, particularly when no one in my house really likes the dark meat! Every bite reminds you of just how great simple home-cooked food can be!
And on a side note--no post tomorrow--I'll be doing a bit of traveling and probably won't have good internet access, but I'll be back on Wednesday with more cold-weather goodies. Brr! It's frigid here!!
Weeknight Pan Roasted Chicken and Gravy
Makes 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes; Cook Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
3 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces ( I used all breasts but you can use whatever you like)
1 teaspoon canola oil
2 teaspoons butter softened, divided
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Minced fresh parsley to use as a garnish (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2. In a small bowl, mash the garlic and salt together with the back of a spoon to form a paste. Stir in the pepper and thyme and set aside.
3. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Using your fingers, gently loosen the skin of the breasts and thighs, and rub the garlic mixture over the chicken, being careful not to tear the skin. Don't try to do this with drumsticks or wings.
4. If you have a large cast-iron skillet, this is the time to use it, otherwise use any other heavy oven-proof pan. Melt the oil and 1 teaspoon of the butter in the pan over medium heat until almost smoking. Add the chicken skin side down and cook for about 5 minutes or until nicely browned and then turn over to let the bottom get browned too. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until chicken is cooked through.
5. While chicken is cooking, mash the remaining butter and flour together in a small bowl and set aside.
6. When chicken is cooked through remove the pan from the oven and use a pair of tongs to transfer the chicken to a plate. Tent with foil to keep warm. Leave an oven mitt over the handle of the pan. Remember the handle will be hot!!
7. Turn the heat to medium-high and and add the broth to the drippings in the pan. Bring to a simmer and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Gradually whisk in the butter/flour mixture and let cook for 7-8 minutes until gravy has thickened. Remove from the heat and let stand a couple of minutes. Skim any fat off the top of the gravy. Plate the chicken and spoon lots of gravy on top of each piece. Sprinkle with the parsley if using, and serve immediately.
8. Leftovers, if there are any, can be stored in an airtight container and reheated in the oven or microwave.
Note: Recipe adapted from EatingWell One-Pot Meals by Jessie Price and the EatingWell Test Kitchen. I tinkered around with some of the measurements and only used chicken breasts.