Thursday, November 5, 2015

Perfect Roasted Chicken - The Start of a Beautiful Stew

The Perfect Roasted Chicken from
The Perfect Roasted Chicken

The perfect roasted chicken is my choice when having friends over for a night of cards or crafting.
It is my favorite meal, combined with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.
My daughters are so happy to see a perfect roasted chicken coming out of the oven because they know that they'll be able to make chicken sandwiches for lunch the next day.
Even better, the perfect roasted chicken means chicken stew or soup will be in the meal rotation a couple of days later.
Since this is the our usual routine, I've learned to prepare for the endpoint of stock making right from the start. 

Southern Soups and Stews by Nancie McDermott

So when my friend, Nancie McDermott wrote this wonderful book, Southern Soups & Stews: More Than 75 Recipes with Down-Home Goodness, from Gumbo and Burgoo to Etouffi and Fricassee

Cook the Book, Southern Soups and Stews

I knew I wanted to help spread the word.  More friends had the same idea, so they'll be doing a cook along on  making Sheri Castle's Watauga County Chicken Stew with Fluffy Dumplings!

Of course, I need to convert the recipe to Southern Chicken Stew with Gluten Free Dumplings, but that just adds to the fun.
Sheri made sure to tell all of us to prepare a great batch of stock to be ready to make the stew, and the best stock starts from a perfect roasted chicken. 

Chicken and Dumplings from

The perfect Roasted Chicken is baked high at first to crisp the skin, then the heat is reduced to finish.

But I always do this little trick in the bottom of the roasting pan, since roasting the vegetables enhances the flavor of the final stock.  I only use celery and carrots, ever since I scorched onions once. By switching my "rack" to vegetables, it eliminated the pain in the neck cleaning of the metal rack typically used in a roasting pan. 

Setting up for the Perfect Roasted chicken from

Perfect Roasted Chicken

By ,

When you want a simple roasted Chicken for dinner, this is the perfect recipe. It is the first of a trio of recipes that will progress to Southern Chicken Stew with Gluten Free Dumplings!

Perfect Roasted Chicken from
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours
Yield: Servings
CategorySide Dish
Equipment needed: Roasting Pan
2 whole carrots-scrubbed
2-3 celery stalks
One chicken 5-6 pounds- neck and giblets removed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 whole organic lemon
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
2. Place the celery and carrots in the bottom of the roasting pan to create a rack keeping the chicken off the bottom of the pan.
3. Rub the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Squeeze the lemon into the cavity of the bird,  then toss the lemon inside.
4. Place chicken on the vegetable rack and cook for 15 minutes.
5. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and roast for 20 minutes per pound. Chicken is done when the instant read thermometer inserted into the base of the thigh measures 165 degrees.
6. Allow to rest 15 minutes before carving.

Whatever you do, DON'T get rid of the roasting pan with all its glorious drippings.
That fond is going to be the basis of our perfect chicken stock.  So go ahead and put that roasting pan back in your warm oven till after dinner, we'll start the stock once the chicken is picked clean.

Even if you don't eat the entire chicken, once dinner is over, pull all the meat off the bones.
Typically, I hold the dark meat from the legs and second joints separate from the white meat of the breasts and wings.  That way I can create the perfect stir fry or chicken salad with ease.

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