Thursday, February 25, 2010

Roast Chicken & a TON of Chicken Stock: Part 1- The Chicken

We had roast chicken for dinner. I make it when I need chicken stock. It turned out well. The lemon added a touch of flavor that made it extra delicious. 

The two of us get 3-4 meals out of one roast chicken, plus 30+ cups of stock. This makes several very affordable dinners along with stock that will last me a few months in the freezer. 

For the roast chicken:
1 5lb-ish whole chicken rinsed and patted dry- save the neck and offal for the stock 
5-6 red skin potatoes- medium size- cut in half or quarters
1/2lb of baby carrots
1 large onion peeled and wedged
1 lemon
1/2 bunch celery stalks leaves included
4-6 whole cloves garlic- peeled
fresh parsley
Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute of Classic Mrs. Dash
olive oil

I use my large stoneware bowl from Pampered Chef to bake this in. They don't make it anymore. This would work the same way though-without the lid. Or a roasting pan that the chicken fits comfortably in.  

Lay the carrots, onions, celery, & garlic in the bottom of the pan. Salt & pepper them. They will act as your roasting rack. They will end up swimming in a delicious puddle of roasted chicken drippings. That makes for a GREAT chicken stock!

Place the bird on top of the veggies breast side up. Tuck the wing tips under the bird. I don't truss the bird. I give it such a comfy and moist environment to bake in that I've never had a problem of uneven cooking or a dry bird. 

Season the chicken liberally with 21 seasoning, salt & pepper. 

Arrange the potatoes around the bird. Season those too. 

Squeeze half of the lemon on the chicken and potatoes. Then, stuff that half of the lemon into the chicken. Add in a small bunch of parsley too. 

Slice the other lemon half into thin slices and arrange them around the potatoes and the chicken. You can even put them on the chicken if you'd like to decorate it a little. 

Drizzle the whole thing with a little olive oil. 

Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 1 1/2-2 hours. Whole chickens don't need to be covered when roasting. The chicken should be 170 degrees when you remove it from the oven. Test the temp in several areas. The chicken will continue cooking about 5 more degrees once it's out of the oven. You want to end up with a 175 to 180 degree chicken. 

Rest on a cookie sheet along side the potatoes and carrots. Cover for 15 minutes. Leave the rest of the stuff in the pan, you'll be using it in your stock. 

Carve chicken and serve with potatoes, and carrots. 

Once dinner is over and the leftover chicken has cooled off, remove every bit of meat from it. Save the skin, bones, and other bits in a bowl. Use the leftover meat in a salad, pot pie, or just re-heat and serve with some yummy side dishes. 

So as not to make this the longest blog post EVER, I will show you how to make the stock tomorrow.