I had never had to cook for myself before, so I ended up calling my mom – a lot – to find out how to make anything and everything. But even with her help – there were many recipe disasters, so more often than not, we just settled for chicken nuggets, mac-n-cheese, and creamed corn. Hey, it was college!
To date, one of the best things that I learned how to make from my mom is a good 'ole fashioned Roasted Chicken with Vegetables and Gravy.
This often-overlooked meal is so simple to make and the leftovers are endless. If you buy a big enough bird, you can serve chicken salad for lunch the next day, and use the remains to create a beautiful stock for chicken soup!
So, now I pass on my love of a good 'ole fashioned roasted chicken to you and I even included my secret weapon for the gravy too! Enjoy!
Roasted Chicken with Vegetables and Gravy
* 1 oven stuffer chicken, 6-7 lbs
* Fresh herbs, to taste (approximately: 4 sprigs of thyme, 4 sprigs of rosemary, 4 sprigs of oregano, 4 sprigs of parsley, 10 sprigs of chives)
* Garlic, 1/2 head (about 6-8 cloves)
* 1 medium red onion, quartered into chunks
* 1/2 bag baby carrots
* 3 large red potatoes, peels on, quartered into chunks
* 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* 1/2 cup water
* Salt & Pepper, to taste
* 1 package of frozen green beans, whole
* 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/4 red onion, diced
* 1/4 cup slivered almonds
* 1/2 tsp celery salt (secret weapon!)
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Rinse the chicken well, both inside and out. Remove that gross little package of innards and toss it. Wash your hands frequently when prepping the raw bird!
Step 2: Generously sprinkle salt and pepper inside the chicken cavity. Stuff in smashed garlic cloves and 1/2 of the fresh herbs. (The herbs can just be stuffed in – you do not need to dice them, or remove them from the stems.)
Step 3: Place chicken on the roasting pan*. Add more salt and pepper, to taste, to the outside of the bird. Rub some of the fresh herbs over the skin. (If you like a really garlicky chicken, you can stuff a few more cloves of smashed garlic under the skin of the chicken.)
Step 4: Now that the bird is safely in its roasting pan, cut up the red potatoes and red onion. They should be chunky, not diced or chopped. Toss the potatoes, onion and baby carrots with 1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Step 5: Place vegetables in roasting pan. Add 1/2 cup of water to the vegetable mixture.
Step 6: Carefully place your roasting pan into the preheated oven. The package on the chicken will tell you how long to cook the bird, but a 6-7 pound chicken takes about 2 hours. (Perdue inserts a pop-up thermometer into its chickens, so when it pops, it's done.)
Step 7: To keep your chicken moist, baste it every 1/2 hour with some of the juices from the bottom of the roasting pan, or water. Once the chicken is done, carefully remove it from the oven.
Step 8: Using a long-tined fork, remove the chicken from the roasting pan and place on a cutting board. Allow it to rest while you make the gravy, about 10-15 minutes.
Step 9: Remove the vegetables from the roasting pan and cover with tinfoil; set aside.
Step 10: Carve the chicken and serve with gravy and vegetables!
*My sister bought me a NapaStyle Cocorico Roaster, which I adore, but prior to owning one, I just used to throw my bird on a rack over a glass baking dish to collect the juices. Classy, eh?
Green Bean Directions:
Step 1: Allow your frozen green beans to thaw while the chicken is cooking.
Step 2: Cook according to the directions on the package.
Step 3: While green beans are cooking, heat 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a pan. When hot, add red onion; cook until translucent. Then add garlic and slivered almonds; cook till garlic is fragrant. (Babysit your garlic; don't let it burn.)
Step 4: Drain green beans; place into a bowl. Pour olive oil mixture over them and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss everything together. Cover with tinfoil; set aside.
Step 1: If you do not have a roasting pan that allows you to place it directly on the burner, transfer the liquids from the bottom of your pan, including any dried bits, into a saucepan. Bring the liquid to a high simmer.
Step 2: In a separate cup, thoroughly mix 1/4 cup cornstarch with 1/4 cup of very hot water. Set aside.
Step 3: When liquids are simmering, add in celery salt (the secret weapon), and salt and pepper, to taste.
Step 4: Now, slowly begin to add, splash by splash, the cornstarch mixture, and whisk each time until thoroughly blended. Your gravy will start to thicken. If you add too much cornstarch, thin it out with chicken stock or water. *Your liquids must be simmering before you add the cornstarch or else it will make a clumpy gravy!
Step 5: Once the gravy is the right consistency for your taste, remove from the stove. Pour into a gravy dish and serve with the chicken.